Skip to main content

Full text of "Kant's Prolegomena to any future metaphysics"

See other formats
















Printed in the United States of America 


T 7 " ANT S Prolegomena,^ although a small book, is indubitably 
^ the most important of his writings. It furnishes us with a 
key to his main work, The Critique of Pure Reason ; in fact, it 
is an extract containing all the salient ideas of Kant s system. It 
approaches the subject in the simplest and most direct way, and 
is therefore best adapted as an introduction into his philosophy. 
For this reason, The Open Court Publishing Company has deemed 
it advisable to bring out a new edition of the work, keeping in 
view its broader use as a preliminary survey and explanation of 
Kant s philosophy in general. In order to make the book useful 
for this broader purpose, the editor has not only stated his own 
views concerning the problem underlying the Prolegomena (see 
page 167 et seq.), but has also collected the most important ma 
terials which have reference to Kant s philosophy, or to the recep 
tion which was accorded to it in various quarters (see page 241 et 
seq.). The selections have not been made from a partisan stand 
point, but have been chosen with a view to characterising the atti 
tude of different minds, and to directing the student to the best 
literature on the subject. 

It is not without good reasons that the appearance of the 
Critique of Ptire Reason is regarded as the beginning of a new 
era in the history of philosophy ; and so it seems that a compre 
hension of Kant s position, whether we accept or reject it, is indis 
pensable to the student of philosophy. It is not his solution which 

1 Prolegomena means literally prefatory or introductory remarks. It is 
the neuter plural of the present passive participle of TrpoAe -yeiy, to speak before^ 
i e., to make introductory remarks before beginning one s regular discourse. 


makes the sage of Konigsberg the initiator of modern thought, but 
his formulation of the problem. 

The present translation is practically new, but it goes without 
saying that the editor utilised the labors of his predecessors, among 
whom Prof. John P. Mahaffy and John H. Bernard deserve special 
credit. Richardson s translation of 1818 may be regarded as super 
seded and has not been consulted, but occasional reference has 
been made to that of Prof. Ernest Belfort Bax. Considering the 
difficulties under which even these translators labored we must 
recognise the fact that they did their work well, with painstaking 
diligence, great love of the subject, and good judgment. The editor 
of the present translation has the advantage of being to the manor 
born ; moreover, he is pretty well versed in Kant s style ; and 
wherever he differs from his predecessors in the interpretation of 
a construction, he has deviated from them not without good rea 
sons. Nevertheless there are some passages which will still re 
main doubtful, though happily they are of little consequence. 

As a curiosum in Richardson s translation Professor Mahaffy 
mentions that the words wider sinnig gewundene Schnecken, 
which simply means "symmetric helices," 1 are rendered by 
"snails rolled up contrary to all sense" a wording that is itself 
contrary to all sense and makes the whole paragraph unintelli 
gible. We may add an instance of another mistake that misses 
the mark. Kant employs in the Appendix a word that is no longer 
used in German. He speaks of the Cento der Metaphystk as having 
neue Lappen and einen verdnderten Zuschnitt. Mr. Bax trans 
lates Cento by "body," Lappen by "outgrowths," and Zuschnitt 
by "figure." His mistake is perhaps not less excusable than 
Richardson s ; it is certainly not less comical, and it also destroys 
the sense, which in the present case is a very striking simile. 

1 Mahaffy not incorrectly translates "spirals winding opposite ways," 
and Mr. Bax follows him verbatim even to the repetition of the footnote. 


Cento is a Latin word 1 derived from the Greek aivrpuv* meaning 
"a garment of many patches sewed together," or, as we might 
now say, "a crazy quilt." 

* * 

In the hope that this book will prove useful, The Open Court 
Publishing Company offers it as a help to the student of philosophy. 

p. c. 

IThe French centon is still in use. 

iffeVrpup, (l) one that bears the marks of the ntvrpov, goad; a rogue, (2) a 
patched cloth ; (3) any kind of patchwork, especially verses made up of scraps 
from other authors. 



Kant s Prolegomena 1-163 

Essay on Kant s Philosophy by, Dr. Paul Carus. (With Por 
traits of Kant and Garve) 167-240 

Supplementary Materials for the Study of Kant s Life and 
Philosophy : 

Introductory Note 243 

Kant s Life and Writings. (After Windelband) 245 

The Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of 

Judgment. (After Weber) 250 

Kant s Views on Religion. (After Schwegler) 258 

Kant and Materialism. (After Lange) 261 

Kant and Deism. (After Heinrich Heine.) With Fac 
simile of the Title-page of the Critique of Pure 

Reason 264 

The Kantian Philosophy. (After Arthur Schopenhauer) 279 
Hostile Estimate of Kant by a Swedenborgian. (After 

Theodore F. Wright) 283 

Facsimile and Translation of a Letter of Kant to His 

Brother 285 

Chronology of Kant s Life and Publications. (After 

Paulsen) 287 

Index to Kant s Prolegomena 293 

Index to the Article on Kant s Philosophy 299 



T^HESE Prolegomena are destined for the use, not 
JL of pupils, but of future teachers, and even the 
latter should not expect that they will be serviceable 
for the systematic^exposition of a ready-made science, 
but merely for the discovery of the science itself. 

There are scholarly men, to whom the history of 
philosophy (both ancient and modern) is philosophy 
itself; for these the present Prolegomena are not 
written. They must wait till those who endeavor to 
draw from the fountain of reason itself have com 
pleted their work ; it will then be the historian s turn 
to inform the world of what has been done. Unfor 
tunately, nothing can be said, which in their opinion 
has not been said before, and truly the same proph 
ecy applies to all future time; for since the human 
reason has for many centuries speculated upon innu 
merable objects in various ways, it is hardly to be ex 
pected that we should not be able to discover anal 
ogies for every new idea among the old sayings of 
past ages. 

My object is to persuade all those who think Meta 
physics worth studying, that it is absolutely necessary 
to pause a moment, and, neglecting all that has 
been done, to propose first the preliminary question, 
* Whether such a thing as metaphysics be at all pos 


If it be a science, how comes it that it cannot, 
like other sciences, obtain universal and permanent 
recognition ? If not, how can it maintain its preten 
sions, and keep the human mind in suspense with 
hopes, never ceasing, yet never fulfilled? Whether 
then we demonstrate our knowledge or our ignorance 
in this field, we must come once for all to a definite 
conclusion respecting the nature of this so-called sci 
ence, which cannot possibly remain on its present 
footing. It seems almost ridiculous, while every other 
science is continually advancing, that in this, which 
pretends to be Wisdom incarnate, for whose oracle 
every one inquires, we should constantly move round 
the same spot, without gaining a single step. And 
so its followers having melted away, we do not find 
men confident of their ability to shine in other sciences 
venturing their reputation here, where everybody, how 
ever ignorant in other matters, may deliver a final 
verdict, as in this domain there is as yet no standard 
weight and measure to distinguish sound knowledge 
from shallow talk. 

After all it is nothing extraordinary in the elabora 
tion of a science, when men begin to wonder how far 
it has advanced, that the question should at last 
occur, whether and how such a science is possible? 
Human reason so delights in constructions, that it has 
several times built up a tower, and then razed it to 
examine the nature of the foundation. It is never too 
late to become wise; but if the change comes late, 
there is always more difficulty in starting a reform. 

The question whether a science be possible, pre 
supposes a doubt as to its actuality. But such a doubt 
offends the men whose whole possessions consist of 
**~ r si pposed jewel ; hence he who raises the doubt 


must expect opposition from all sides. Some, in the 
proud consciousness of their possessions, which are 
ancient, and therefore considered legitimate, will take 
their metaphysical compendia in their hands, and look 
down on him with contempt ; others, who never see 
anything except it be identical with what they have 
seen before, will not understand him, and everything 
will remain for a time, as if nothing had happened to 
excite the concern, or the hope, for an impending 

Nevertheless, I venture to predict that the inde 
pendent reader of these Prolegomena will not only 
doubt his previous science, but ultimately be fully 
persuaded, that it cannot exist unless the demands 
here stated on which its possibility depends, be satis 
fied ; and, as this has never been done, that there is, 
as yet, no such thing as Metaphysics. But as it can 
never cease to be in demand, 1 since the interests of 
common sense are intimately interwoven with it, he 
must confess that a radical reform, or rather a new 
birth of the science after an original plan, are un 
avoidable, however men may struggle against it for a 

Since the Essays of Locke and Leibnitz, or rather 
since the origin of metaphysics so far as we know its 
history, nothing has ever happened which was more 
decisive to its fate than the attack made upon it by 
David Hume. He threw no light on this species of 
knowledge, but he certainly struck a spark from 

1 Says Horace : 

" Rusticus expectat, dum defluat amnis, at illc 

Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum; " 
14 A rustic fellow waiteth on the shore 
For the river to flow away, 
But the river flows, and flows on as before, 
And it flows forever and aye." 


which light might have been obtained, had it caught 
some inflammable substance and had its smouldering 
fire been carefully nursed and developed. 

Hume started from a single but important concept 
in Metaphysics, viz. , that of Cause and Effect (in 
cluding its derivatives force and action, etc.). He 
challenges reason, which pretends to have given birth 
to this idea from herself, to answer him by what right 
she thinks anything to be so constituted, that if that 
thing be posited, something else also must necessarily 
be posited ; for this is the meaning of the concept of 
cause. He demonstrated irrefutably that it was per 
fectly impossible for reason to think a priori and by 
means of concepts a combination involving necessity.. 
We cannot at all see why, in consequence of the ex 
istence of one thing, another must necessarily exist, 
or how the concept of such a combination can arise 
a priori. Hence he inferred, that reason was alto 
gether deluded with reference to this concept, which 
she erroneously considered as one of her children, 
whereas in reality it was nothing but a bastard of im 
agination, impregnated by experience, which sub 
sumed certain representations under the Law of Asso 
ciation, and mistook the subjective necessity of habit 
for an objective necessity arising from insight. Hence 
he inferred that reason had no power to think such 
combinations, even generally, because her concepts 
would then be purely fictitious, and all her pretended 
a priori cognitions nothing but common experiences 
marked with a false stamp. In plain language there 
is not, and cannot be, any such thing as metaphysics 
at all. 1 

1 Nevertheless Hume called this very destructive science metaphysics 
and attached to it great value. Metaphysics and morals [he declares in the 


However hasty and mistaken Hume s conclusion 
may appear, it was at least founded upon investiga 
tion, and this investigation deserved the concentrated 
attention of the brighter spirits of his day as well as 
determined efforts on their part to discover, if pos 
sible, a happier solution of the problem in the sense 
proposed by him, all of which would have speedily 
resulted in a complete reform of the science. 

But Hume suffered the usual misfortune of meta 
physicians, of not being understood. It is positively 
painful to see how utterly his opponents, Reid, Os 
wald, Beattie, and lastly Priestley, missed the point 
of the problem ; for while they were ever taking for 
granted that which he doubted, and demonstrating 
with zeal and often with impudence that which he 
never thought of doubting, they so misconstrued his 
valuable suggestion that everything remained in its 
old condition, as if nothing had happened. 

The question was not whether the concept of 
cause was right, useful, and even indispensable for 
our knowledge of nature, for this Hume had never 
doubted ; but whether that concept could be thought 
by reason a priori, and consequently whether it pos 
sessed an inner truth, independent of all experience, 
implying a wider application than merely to the ob 
jects of experience. This was Hume s problem. It 
was a question concerning the origin, not concerning 
the indispensable need of the concept. Were the former 

fourth part of his Essays] are the most important branches of science; math 
ematics and physics are not nearly so important. But the acute man merely 
regarded the negative use arising from the moderation of extravagant claims 
of speculative reason, and the complete settlement of the many endless and 
TMiblesome controversies that mislead mankind. He overlooked the posi 
tive injury which results, if reason be deprived of its most important pro 
spects, which can alone supply to the will the highest aim for all its en 


decided, the conditions of the use and the sphere of 
its valid application would have been determined as 
a matter of course. 

But to satisfy the conditions of the problem, the 
opponents of the great thinker should have penetrated 
very deeply into the nature of reason, so far as it is 
concerned with pure thinking, a task which did not 
suit them. They found a more convenient method of 
!>eing defiant without any insight, viz., the appeal to 
;ommon sense. It is indeed a great gift of God, to pos 
sess right, or (as they now call it) plain common 
sense. But this common sense must be shown prac 
tically, by well-considered and reasonable thoughts 
and words, not by appealing to it as an oracle, when 
no rational justification can be advanced. To appeal 
to common sense, when insight and science fail, and 
no sooner this is one of the subtile discoveries ot 
modern times, by means of which the most superficial 
ranter can safely enter the lists with the most thorough 
thinker, and hold his own. But as long as a particle 
of insight remains, no one would think of having re 
course to this subterfuge. For what is it but an ap 
peal to the opinion of the multitude, of whose ap 
plause the philosopher is ashamed, while the popular 
charlatan glories and confides in it? I should think 
that Hume might fairly have laid as much claim to 
common sense as Beattie, and in addition to a critical 
reason (such as the latter did not possess), which 
keeps common sense in check and prevents it from 
speculating, or, if speculations are under discussion, 
restrains the desire to decide because it cannot satisfy 
itself concerning its own arguments. By this means 
alone can common sense remain sound. Chisels and 
hammers may suffice to work a piece of wood, but for 


steel-engraving we require an engraver s needle. Thus 
common sense and speculative understanding are 
each serviceable in their own way, the former in judg 
ments which apply immediately to experience, the 
latter when we judge universally from mere concepts, 
as in metaphysics, where sound common sense, so 
called in spite of the inapplicability of the word, has 
no right to judge at all. 

I openly confess, the suggestion of David Hume 
was the very thing, which many years ago first inter 
rupted my dogmatic slumber, and gave my investiga 
tions in the field of speculative philosophy quite a 
new direction. I was far from following him in the 
conclusions at which he arrived by regarding, not the 
whole of his problem, but a part, which by itself can 
give us no information. If we start from a well- 
founded, but undeveloped, thought, which another 
has bequeathed to us, we may well hope by continued 
reflection to advance farther than the acute man, to 
whom we owe the first spark of light. 

1 therefore first tried whether Hume s objection 
could not be put into a general form, and soon found 
that the concept of the connexion of cause and effect 
was by no means the only idea by which the under 
standing thinks the connexion of things a priori, but 
rather that metaphysics consists altogether of such 
connexions. I sought to ascertain their number, and 
when I had satisfactorily succeeded in this by starting 
from a single principle, I proceeded to the deduction 
of these concepts, which I was now certain were not 
deduced from experience, as Hume had apprehended, 
but sprang from the pure understanding. This de 
duction (which seemed impossible to my acute prede 
cessor, which had never even occurred to any one 


else, though no one had hesitated to use the concepts 
without investigating the basis of their objective val 
idity) was the most difficult task ever undertaken in the 
service of metaphysics ; and the worst was that meta 
physics, such as it then existed, could not assist me 
in the least, because this deduction alone can render 
metaphysics possible. But as soon as I had succeeded 
in solving Hume s problem not merely in a particular 
case, but with respect to the whole faculty of pure rea 
son, I could proceed safely, though slowly, to determine 
the whole sphere of pure reason completely and from 
general principles, in its circumference as well as in its 
contents. This was required for metaphysics in order to 
construct its system according to a reliable method. 

But I fear that the execution of Hume s problem 
in its widest extent (viz., my Critique of the Pure Rea 
son) will fare as the problem itself fared, when first 
proposed. It will be misjudged because it is mis 
understood, and misunderstood because men choose 
to skim through the book, and not to think through 
it a disagreeable task, because the work is dry, ob 
scure, opposed to all ordinary notions, and moreover 
long-winded. I confess, however, I did not expect to 
hear from philosophers complaints of want of popu 
larity, entertainment, and facility, when the existence 
of a highly prized and indispensable cognition is at 
stake, which cannot be established otherwise, than by 
the strictest rules of methodic precision. Popularity 
may follow, but is inadmissible at the beginning. Yet 
as regards a certain obscurity, arising partly from the 
diffuseness of the plan, owing to which the principal 
points of the investigation are easily lost sight of, the 


complaint is just, and I intend to remove it by the 
present Prolegomena. 

The first-mentioned work, which discusses the pure 
faculty of reason in its whole compass and bounds, 
will remain the foundation, to which the Prolegomena, 
as a preliminary exercise, refer; for our critique must 
first be established as a complete and perfected sci 
ence, before we can think of letting Metaphysics ap 
pear on the scene, or even have the most distant hope 
of attaining it. 

We have been long accustomed to seeing anti 
quated knowledge produced as new by taking it out 
of its former context, and reducing it to system in a 
new suit of any fancy pattern under new titles. Most 
readers will set out by expecting nothing else from 
the Critique; but these Prolegomena may persuade 
him that it is a perfectly new science, of which no 
one has ever even thought, the very idea of which 
was unknown, and for which nothing hitherto accom 
plished can be of the smallest use, except it be the 
suggestion of Hume s doubts. Yet even he did not 
suspect such a formal science, but ran his ship ashore, 
for safety s sake, landing on scepticism, there to let it 
lie and rot ; whereas my object is rather to give it a 
pilot, who, by means of safe astronomical principles 
drawn from a knowledge of the globe, and provided 
with a complete chart and compass, may steer the 
ship safely, whither he listeth. 

If in a new science, which is wholly isolated and 
unique in its kind, we started with the prejudice that 
we can judge of things by means of our previously 
acquired knowledge, which is precisely what has first 
to be called in question, we should only fancy we saw 
everywhere what we had already known, the expres- 


sions, having a similar sound, only that all would ap 
pear utterly metamorphosed, senseless and unintelli 
gible, because we should have as a foundation our 
own notions, made by long habit a second nature, in 
stead of the author s. But the longwindedness of the 
work, so far as it depends on the subject, and not the 
exposition, its consequent unavoidable dryness and 
its scholastic precision are qualities which can only 
benefit the science, though they may discredit the 

Few writers are gifted with the subtilty, and at the 
same time with the grace, of David Hume, or with 
the depth, as well as the elegance, of Moses Mendels 
sohn. Yet I flatter myself I might have made my 
own exposition popular, had my object been merely to 
sketch out a plan and leave its completion to others, 
instead of having my heart in the welfare of the sci 
ence, to which I had devoted myself so long ; in truth, 
it required no little constancy, and even self-denial, 
to postpone the sweets of an immediate success to 
the prospect of a slower, but more lasting, reputation. 

Making plans is often the occupation of an opu 
lent and boastful mind, which thus obtains the repu 
tation of a creative genius, by demanding what it 
cannot itself supply; by censuring, what it cannot 
improve ; and by proposing, what it knows not where 
to find. And yet something more should belong to a 
sound plan of a general critique of pure reason than 
mere conjectures, if this plan is to be other than the 
usual declamations of pious aspirations. But pure 
reason is a sphere so separate and self-contained, that 
we cannot touch a part without affecting all the rest. 
We can therefore do nothing without first determin 
ing the position of each part, and its relation to the 


rest; for, as our judgment cannot be corrected by 
anything without, the validity and use of every part 
depends upon the relation in which it stands to all 
the rest within the domain of reason. 

So in the structure of an organized body, the end 
of each member can only be deduced from the full 
conception of the whole. It may, then, be said of 
such a critique that it is never trustworthy except it 
be perfectly complete, down to the smallest elements 
of pure reason. In the sphere of this faculty you can 
determine either everything or nothing. 

But although a mere sketch, preceding the Critique 
of Pure Reason, would be unintelligible, unreliable, 
and useless, it is all the more useful as a sequel. For 
so we are able to grasp the whole, to examine in de 
tail the chief points of importance in the science, and 
to improve in many respects our exposition, as com 
pared with the first execution of the work. 

After the completion of the work I offer here such 
a plan which is sketched out after an analytical 
method, while the work itself had to be executed in 
the synthetical style, in order that the science may 
present all its articulations, as the structure of a pe 
culiar cognitive faculty, in their natural combination. 
But should any reader find this plan, which I publish 
as the Prolegomena to any future Metaphysics, still 
obscure, let him consider that not every one is bound 
to study Metaphysics, that many minds will succeed 
very well, in the exact and even in deep sciences, 
more closely allied to practical experience, 1 while they 

IThe term Anschauung here used means sense-perception. It is that 
which is given to the senses and apprehended immediately, as an object is 
seen by merely looking at it. The translation intuition, though etymolog- 
ically correct, is misleading. In the present passage the term is not used in 
its technical significance but means " practical experience." Ed. 


cannot succeed in investigations dealing exclusively 
with abstract concepts. In such cases men should 
apply their talents to other subjects. But he who 
undertakes to judge, or still more, to construct, a sys 
tem of Metaphysics, must satisfy the demands here 
made, either by adopting my solution, or by thor 
oughly refuting it, and substituting another. To 
evade it is impossible. 

In conclusion, let it be remembered that this 
much-abused obscurity (frequently serving as a mere 
pretext under which people hide their own indolence 
or dullness) has its uses, since all who in other sci 
ences observe a judicious silence, speak authorita 
tively in metaphysics and make bold decisions, be 
cause their ignorance is not here contrasted with the 
knowledge of others. Yet it does contrast with sound 
critical principles, which we may therefore commend 
in the words of Virgil : 

"Ignavum, fucos, pecus a prsesepibus arcent." 
Bees are defending their hives against drones, those indolent 



i . Of the Sources of Metaphysics* 

IF it becomes desirable to formulate any cognition 
as science, it will be necessary first to determine 
accurately those peculiar features which no other sci 
ence has in common with it, constituting its charac 
teristics ; otherwise the boundaries of all sciences 
become confused, and none of them can be treated 
thoroughly according to its nature. 

The characteristics of a science may consist of a 
simple difference of object, or of the sources of cogni 
tion, or of the kind of cognition, or perhaps of all 
three conjointly. On this, therefore, depends the 
idea of a possible science and its territory. 

First, as concerns the sources of metaphysical 
cognition, its very concept implies that they cannot 
be empirical. Its principles (including not only its 
maxims but its basic notions) must never be derived 
from experience. It must not be physical but meta 
physical knowledge, viz., knowledge lying beyond 
experience. It can therefore have for its basis neither 
external experience, which is the source of physics 
proper, nor internal, which is the basis of empirical 


psychology. It is therefore a priori knowledge, com 
ing from pure Understanding and pure Reason. 

But so far Metaphysics would not be distinguish 
able from pure Mathematics; it must therefore be 
called pure philosophical cognition ; and for the 
meaning of this term I refer to the Critique of the 
Pure Reason (II. "Method of Transcendentalism," 
Chap. I., Sec. i), where the distinction between these 
two employments of the reason is sufficiently ex 
plained. So far concerning the sources of metaphysi 
cal cognition. 

2. Concerning the Kind of Cognition which can alone 
be called Metaphysical. 

a. Of the Distinction between Analytical and Syn 
thetical Judgments in general. The peculiarity of its 
sources demands that metaphysical cognition must 
consist of nothing but a priori judgments. But what 
ever be their origin, or their logical form, there is a 
distinction in judgments, as to their content, accord 
ing to which they are either merely explicative, add 
ing nothing to the content of the cognition, or expan 
sive, increasing the given cognition : the former may 
be called analytical, the latter synthetical, judgments. 

Analytical judgments express nothing in the predi 
cate but what has been already actually thought in 
the concept of the subject, though not so distinctly or 
vrith the same (full) consciousness. When I say: All 
bodies are extended, I have not amplified in the least 
my concept of body, but have only analysed it, as ex 
tension was really thought to belong to that concept 
before the judgment was made, though it was not ex 
pressed ? this judgment is therefore analytical. On 
the contrary, this judgment, All bodies have weight, 


contains in its predicate something not actually 
thought in the general concept of the body; it ampli 
fies my knowledge by adding something to my con 
cept, and must therefore be called synthetical. 

b. The Common Principle of all Analytical Judgments 
is the Law of Contradiction. All analytical judgments 
depend wholly on the law of Contradiction, and are 
in their nature a priori cognitions, whether the con 
cepts that supply them with matter be empirical or 
not. For the predicate of an affirmative analytical 
judgment is already contained in the concept of the 
subject, of which it cannot be denied without contra 
diction. In the same way its opposite is necessarily 
denied of the subject in an analytical, but negative, 
judgment, by the same law of contradiction. Such is 
the nature of the judgments : all bodies are extended, 
and no bodies are unextended (i. e., simple). 

For this very reason all analytical judgments are 
a priori even when the concepts are empirical, as, for 
example, Gold is a yellow metal ; for to know this I 
require 110 experience beyond my concept of gold as 
a yellow metal : it is, in fact, the very concept, and I 
need only analyse it, without looking beyond it else 

c. Synthetical Judgments require a different Principle 
from the Law of Contradiction. There are synthetical 
a posteriori judgments of empirical origin; but there 
are also others which are proved to be certain a priori, 
and which spring from pure Understanding and Rea 
son. Yet they both agree in this, that they cannot 
possibly spring from the principle of analysis, viz., 
the law of contradiction, alone ; they require a quite 
different principle, though, from whatever they may 
be deduced, they must be subject to the law of con- 


tradiction, which must never be violated, even though 
everything cannot be deduced from it. I shall first 
classify synthetical judgments. 

1. Empirical Judgments are always synthetical. For 
it would be absurd to base an analytical judgment on 
experience, as our concept suffices tor the purpose 
without requiring any testimony from experience. 
That body is extended, is a judgment established a 
priori, and not an empirical judgment. For before 
appealing to experience, we already have all the con 
ditions of the judgment in the concept, from which 
we have but to elicit the predicate according to the 
law of contradiction, and thereby to become conscious 
of the necessity of the judgment, which experience 
could not even teach us. 

2. Mathematical Judgments are all synthetical. This 
fact seems hitherto to have altogether escaped the 
observation of those who have analysed human rea 
son ; it even seems directly opposed to all their con 
jectures, though incontestably certain, and most im 
portant in its consequences. For as it was found that 
the conclusions of mathematicians all proceed accord 
ing to the law of contradiction (as is demanded by all 
apodeictic certainty), men persuaded themselves that 
the fundamental principles were known from the same 
law. This was a great mistake, for a synthetical prop 
osition can indeed be comprehended according to the 
law of contradiction, but only by presupposing another 
synthetical proposition from wnich it follows, but 
never in itself. 

First of all, we must observe that all proper math 
ematical judgments are a priori, and not empirical, 
because they carry with them necessity, which cannot 
be obtained from experience. But if this be not con- 


ceded to me, very good ; I shall confine my assertion 
to pure Mathematics, the very notion of which implies 
that it contains pure a priori and not empirical cogni 

It might at first be thought that the proposition 
7-j-5 = i2 is a mere analytical judgment, following 
from the concept of the sum of seven and five, accord 
ing to the law of contradiction. But on closer exam 
ination it appears that the concept of the sum of 7+5 
contains merely their union in a single number, with 
out its being at all thought what the particular num 
ber is that unites them. The concept of twelve is by 
no means thought by merely thinking of the combina 
tion of seven and five ; and analyse this possible sum 
as we may, we shall not discover twelve in the con 
cept. We must go beyond these concepts, by calling to 
our aid some concrete image (Anschauun^), i.e., either 
our five fingers, or five points (as Segner has it in his 
Arithmetic), and we must add successively the units 
of the five, given in some concrete image {Anschau- 
ung), to the concept of seven. Hence our concept 
is really amplified by the proposition 7-^5 = 12, and 
we add to the first a second, not thought in it. Arith 
metical judgments are therefore synthetical, and the 
more plainly according as we take larger numbers; 
for in such cases it is clear that, however closely we 
analyse our concepts without calling visual images 
{Anschauung} to our aid, we can never find the sum by 
such mere dissection. 

All principles of geometry are no less analytical. 
That a straight line is the shortest path between two 
points, is a synthetical proposition. For my concept 
of straight contains nothing of quantity, but only a 
quality. The attribute of shortness is therefore alto- 


gether additional, and cannot be obtained by any 
analysis of the concept. Here, too, visualisation 
(Anschauung} must come to aid us. It alone makes 
the synthesis possible. 

Some other principles, assumed by geometers, are 
indeed actually analytical, and depend on the law of 
contradiction ; but they only serve, as identical prop 
ositions, as a method of concatenation, and not as 
principles, e. g., a = a, the whole is equal to itself, or 
a-\-b*>(ij the whole is greater than its part. And yet 
even these, though they are recognised as valid from 
mere concepts, are only admitted in mathematics, be 
cause they can be represented in some visual form 
{Anschauung}. What usually makes us believe that 
the predicate of such apodeictic 1 judgments is already 
contained in our concept, and that the judgment is 
therefore analytical, is the duplicity of the expression, 
requesting us to think a certain predicate as of neces 
sity implied in the thought of a given concept, which 
necessity attaches to the concept. But the question 
is not what we are requested to join in thought to the 
given concept, but what we actually think together 
with and in it, though obscurely ; and so it appears 
that the predicate belongs to these concepts necessa 
rily indeed, yet not directly but indirectly by an added 
visualisation (Anschauung). 

3. A Remark on the General Division of Judgments 

into Analytical and Synthetical. 

This division is indispensable, as concerns the 
Critique of human understanding, and therefore de- 

IThe term apodeictic is borrowed by Kant from Aristotle who uses it in 
the sense of "certain beyond dispute." The word is derived from airo&eCKWfju 
(WjAow)and is contrasted to dialectic propositions, i. e., such statements 
as admit of controversy. Ed, 


serves to be called classical, though otherwise it is of 
little use, but this is the reason why dogmatic philos 
ophers, who always seek the sources of metaphysical 
judgments in Metaphysics itself, and not apart from 
it, in the pure laws of reason generally, altogether 
neglected this apparently obvious distinction. Thus 
the celebrated Wolf, and his acute follower Baum- 
garten, came to seek the proof of the principle of 
Sufficient Reason, which is clearly synthetical, in the 
principle of Contradiction. In Locke s Essay, how 
ever, I find an indication of my division. For in the 
fourth book (chap. iii. 9, seq.), having discussed 
the various connexions of representations in judg 
ments, and their sources, one of which he makes 
" identity and contradiction" (analytical judgments), 
and another the coexistence of representations in a 
subject, he confesses ( 10) that our a priori knowl 
edge of the latter is very narrow, and almost nothing. 
But in his remarks on this species of cognition, there 
is so little of what is definite, and reduced to rules, 
that we cannot wonder if no one, not even Hume, was 
led to make investigations concerning this sort of 
judgments. For such general and yet definite prin 
ciples are not easily learned from other men, who 
have had them obscurely in their minds. We must 
hit on them first by our own reflexion, then we find 
them elsewhere, where we could not possibly nave 
found them at first, because the authors themselves 
did not know that such an idea lay at the basis of 
their observations. Men who never think indepen 
dently have nevertheless the acuteness to discover 
everything, after it has been once shown them, in 
what was said long since, though no one ever saw it 
there before. 


4. The General Question of the Prolegomena. 2s 
Metaphysics at all Possible ? * 

Were a metaphysics, which could maintain its 
place as a science, really in existence ; could we say, 
here is metaphysics, learn it, and it will convince you 
irresistibly and irrevocably of its truth : this question 
would be useless, and there would only remain that 
other question (which would rather be a test of our 
acuteness, than a proof of the existence of the thing 
itself), "How is the science possible, and how does 
reason come to attain it?" But human reason has 
not been so fortunate in this case. There is no single 
book to which you can point as you do to Euclid, and 
say: This is Metaphysics; here you may find the 
noblest objects of this science, the knowledge of a 
highest Being, and of a future existence, proved from 
principles of pure reason. We can be shown indeed 
many judgments, demonstrably certain, and never 
questioned ; but these are all analytical, and rather 
concern the materials and the scaffolding for Meta 
physics, than the extension of knowledge, which i? 
our proper object in studying it ( 2). Even suppo 
sing you produce synthetical judgments (such as the 
law of Sufficient Reason, which you have never 
proved, as you ought to, from pure reason a priori, 
though we gladly concede its truth), you lapse when 
they come to be employed for your principal object, 
into such doubtful assertions, that in all ages one 
Metaphysics has contradicted another, either in its 
assertions, or their proofs, and thus has itself des 
troyed its own claim to lasting assent. Nay, the very 
attempts to set up such a science are the main cause 


of the early appearance of scepticism, a mental atti 
tude in which reason treats itself with such violence 
that it could never have arisen save from complete 
despair of ever satisfying our most important aspira 
tions. For long before men began to inquire into na 
ture methodically, they consulted abstract reason, 
which had to some extent been exercised by means of 
ordinary experience; for reason is ever present, while 
laws of nature must usually be discovered with labor. 
So Metaphysics floated to the surface, like foam, which 
dissolved the moment it was scooped off. But imme 
diately there appeared a new supply on the surface, 
to be ever eagerly gathered up by some, while others, 
instead of seeking in the depths the cause of the phe 
nomenon, thought they showed their wisdom by ridi 
culing the idle labor of their neighbors. 

The essential and distinguishing feature of pure 
mathematical cognition among all other a priori cog 
nitions is, that it cannot at all proceed from concepts, 
but only by means of the construction of concepts 
(see Critique II., Method of Transcendentalism, 
chap. I., sect. i). As therefore in its judgments it 
must proceed beyond the concept to that which its 
corresponding visualisation (Anschauung} contains, 
these judgments neither can, nor ought to, arise ana 
lytically, by dissecting the concept, but are all syn 

I cannot refrain from pointing out the disadvan 
tage resulting to philosophy from the neglect of this 
easy and apparently insignificant observation. Hume 
being prompted (a task worthy of a philosopher) to 
cast his eye over the whole field of a priori cognitions 
in which human understanding claims such mighty 
possessions, heedlessly severed from it a whole, and 


indeed its most valuable, province, viz., pure mathe 
matics; for he thought its nature, or, so to speak, 
the state-constitution of this empire, depended on 
totally different principles, namely, on the law of 
contradiction alone; and although he did not divide 
judgments in this manner formally and universally as 
I have done here, what he said was equivalent to this: 
that mathematics contains only analytical, but meta 
physics synthetical, a priori judgments. In this, how 
ever, he was greatly mistaken, and the mistake had a 
decidedly injurious effect upon his whole conception. 
But for this, he would have extended his question 
concerning the origin of our synthetical judgments 
far beyond the metaphysical concept of Causality, 
and included in it the possibility of mathematics a 
priori also, for this latter he must have assumed to 
be equally synthetical. And then he could not have 
based his metaphysical judgments on mere experience 
without subjecting the axioms of mathematics equally 
to experience, a thing which he was far too acute to 
do. The good company into which metaphysics would 
thus have been brought, would have saved it from 
the danger of a contemptuous ill-treatment, for the 
thrust intended for it must have reached mathematics, 
which was not and could not have been Hume s in 
tention. Thus that acute man would have been led 
into considerations which must needs be similar to 
those that now occupy us, but which would have 
gained inestimably > v his inimitably elegant style. 

Metaphysical judgments, properly so called, are all 
synthetical. We must distinguish judgments pertain 
ing to metaphysics from metaphysical judgments 
properly so called. Many of the former are analytical, 
but they only afford the means for metaphysical judg- 


ments, which are the whole end of the science, and 
which are always synthetical. For if there be con 
cepts pertaining to metaphysics (as, for example, that 
of substance), the judgments springing from simple 
analysis of them also pertain to metaphysics, as, for 
example, substance is that which only exists as sub 
ject; and by means of several such analytical judg 
ments, we seek to approach the definition of the con 
cept. But as the analysis of a pure concept of the 
understanding pertaining to metaphysics, does not 
proceed in any different manner from the dissection 
of any other, even empirical, concepts, not pertaining 
to metaphysics (such as : air is an elastic fluid, the 
elasticity of which is not destroyed by any known de 
gree of cold), it follows that the concept indeed, but 
not the analytical judgment, is properly metaphysical. 
This science has something peculiar in the production 
of its a priori cognitions, which must therefore be dis 
tinguished from the features it has in common with 
other rational knowledge. Thus the judgment, that 
all the substance in things is permanent, is a synthet 
ical and properly metaphysical judgment. 

If the a priori principles, which constitute the ma 
terials of metaphysics, have first been collected ac 
cording to fixed principles, then their analysis will be 
of great value ; it might be taught as a particular part 
(as a philosophia definitive?), containing nothing but 
analytical judgments pertaining to metaphysics, and 
could be treated separately from the synthetical which 
constitute metaphysics proper. For indeed these 
analyses are not elsewhere of much value, except in 
metaphysics, i. e., as regards the synthetical judg 
ments, which are to be generated by these previously 
analysed concepts. 


The conclusion drawn in this section then is, that 
metaphysics is properly concerned with synthetical 
propositions a priori, and these alone constitute its 
end, for which it indeed requires various dissections 
of its concepts, viz., of its analytical judgments, but 
wherein the procedure is not different from that in 
every other kind of knowledge, in wlpch we merely 
seek to render our concepts distinct by analysis, But 
the generation of a priori cognition by concrete im 
ages as well as by concepts, in fine of synthetical 
propositions a priori in philosophical cognition, con 
stitutes the essential subject of Metaphysics. 

Weary therefore as well of dogmatism, which 
teaches us nothing, as of scepticism, which does not 
even promise us anything, not even the quiet state of 
a contented ignorance; disquieted by the importance 
of knowledge so much needed; and lastly, rendered 
suspicious by long experience of all knowledge which 
we believe we possess, or which offers itself, under the 
title of pure reason : there remains but one critical 
question on the answer to which our future procedure 
depends, viz., Is Metaphysics at all possible? But this 
question must be answered not by sceptical objections 
to the asseverations of some actual system of meta 
physics (for we do not as yet admit such a thing to 
exist), but from the conception, as yet only proble 
matical, of a science of this sort. 

In the Critique of Pure Reason I have treated this 
question synthetically, by making inquiries into pure 
reason itself, and endeavoring in this source to deter 
mine the elements as well as the laws of its pure use 
according to principles. The task is difficult, and 
requires a resolute reader to penetrate by degrees into 
a system, based on no data except reason itself, and 


which therefore seeks, without resting upon any fact, 
to unfold knowledge from its original germs. Prole 
gomena, however, are designed for preparatory exer 
cises; they are intended rather to point out what \ve 
have to do in order if possible to actualise a science, 
than to propound it. They must therefore rest upon 
something already known as trustworthy, from which 
we can set out with confidence, and ascend to sources 
as yet unknown, the discovery of which will not only 
explain to us what we knew, but exhibit a sphere of 
many cognitions which all spring from the same 
sources. The method of Prolegomena, especially of 
those designed as a preparation for future metaphys 
ics, is consequently analytical. 

But it happens fortunately, that though we cannot 
assume metaphysics to be an actual science, we can say 
with confidence that certain pure a priori synthetical 
cognitions, pure Mathematics and pure Physics are 
actual and given ; for both contain propositions, which 
are thoroughly recognised as apodeictically certain, 
partly by mere reason, partly by general consent aris 
ing from experience, and yet as independent of expe 
rience. We have therefore some at least uncontested 
synthetical knowledge a priori, and need not ask 
whether it be possible, for it is actual, but how it is 
possible, in order that we may deduce from the prin 
ciple which makes the given cognitions possible the 
possibility of all the rest. 

The General Problem: How is Cognition from Pure 

Reason Possible? 

5. We have above learned the significant dis 
tinction between analytical and synthetical judgments. 
The possibility of analytical propositions was easily 


comprehended, being entirely founded on the law ot 
Contradiction. The possibility of synthetical a pos 
ter wri judgments, of those which are gathered horn 
experience, also requires no particular explanation ; 
for experience is nothing but a continual synthesis of 
perceptions. There remain therefore only synthetical 
propositions a priori, of which the possibility must 
be sought or investigated, because they must depend 
upon other principles than the law of contradiction. 

But here we need not first establish the possibility 
of such propositions so as to ask whether they are 
possible. For there are enough of them which indeed 
are of undoubted certainty, and as our present method 
is analytical, we shall start from the fact, that such 
synthetical but purely rational cognition actually ex 
ists ; but we must now inquire into the reason of this 
possibility, and ask, how such cognition is possible, 
in order that we may from the principles of its possi 
bility be enabled to determine the conditions of its 
use, its sphere and its limits. The proper problem 
upon which all depends, when expressed with scho 
lastic precision, is therefore : 

How are Synthetic Propositions a priori possible? 

.b or the sake of popularity^ have above expressed 
this problem somewhat differently, as an inquiry into 
purely rational cognition, which I could do for once 
without detriment to the desired comprehension, be 
cause, as we have only to do here with metaphysics 
and its sources, the reader will, I hope, after the fore 
going remarks, keep in mind that when we speak of 
purely rational cognition, we do not mean analytical, 
but synthetical cognition. 1 

1 It is unavoidable that as knowledge advances, certain expressions which 
have become classical, after having been used since the infancy of science, 


Metaphysics stands or falls with the solution of 
this problem : its very existence depends upon it. 
Let any one make metaphysical assertions with ever 
so much plausibility, let him overwhelm us with con 
clusions, if he has not previously proved able to an 
swer this question satisfactorily, I have a right to say: 
this is all vain baseless philosophy and false wisdom. 
You speak through pure reason, and claim, as it were 
to create cognitions a priori by not only dissecting 
given concepts, but also by asserting connexions which 
do not rest upon the law of contradiction, and which 
you believe you conceive quite independently of all ex 
perience ; how do you arrive at this, and how will 
you justify your pretensions? An appeal to the con 
sent of the Qojnmaa. sense of mankind cannot be 
allowed; for that is a witness whose authority de 
pends merely upon rumor. Says Horace: 

" Quodcunque ostendis mihi sic, incredulus odi." 
" To all that which thou provest me thus, I refuse to give 

The answer to this question, though indispensable, 
is difficult; and though the principal reason that it 
was not made long ago is, that the possibility of the 
question never occurred to anybody, there is yet an 
other reason, which is this that a satisfactory answer 

will be found inadequate and unsuitable, and a newer an<i more appropriate 
application of the terms will give rise to confusion. [This is the case with 
the term analytical."] The analytical method, so far as it is opposed to the 
synthetical, is very different from that which constitutes the essence of ana 
lytical propositions : it signifies only that we start from what is sought, as if 
it were given, and a?cend to the only conditions under which it is possible. 
In this method we often use nothing but synthetical propositions, as in math 
ematical analysis, and it were better to term it the regressive method, in 
contradistinction to the synthetic or progressive. A principal part of Logic 
too is distinguished by the name of Analytics, which here signifies the logic 
of truth in contrast to Dialectics, without considering whether the cognitions 
belonging to it are analytical or synthetical. 


to this one question requires a much more persistent, 
profound, and painstaking reflexion, than the most 
diffuse work on Metaphysics, which on its first ap 
pearance promised immortality to its author. And 
every intelligent reader, when he carefully reflects 
what this problem requires, must at first be struck 
with its difficulty, and would regard it as insoluble and 
even impossible, did there not actually exist pure syn 
thetical cognitions a priori. This actually happened 
to David Hume, though he did not conceive the ques 
tion in its entire universality as is done here, and as 
must be done, should the answer be decisive for all 
Metaphysics. For how is it possible, says that acute 
man, that when a concept is given me, I can go be 
yond it and connect with it another, which is not con 
tained in it, in such a manner as if the latter necessa 
rily belonged to the former? Nothing but experience 
can furnish us with such connexions (thus he con 
cluded from the difficulty which he took to be an im 
possibility), and all that vaunted necessity, or^ what 
is the same thing, all cognition assumed to be a priori, 
is nothing but a long habit of accepting something as 
true, and hence of mistaking subjective necessity for 

Should my reader complain of the difficulty and 
the trouble which I occasion him in the solution of 
this problem, he is at liberty to solve it himself in an 
easier way. Perhaps he will then feel under obligation 
to the person who has undertaken for him a labor of so 
profound research, and will rather be surprised at the 
facility with which, considering the nature of the sub 
ject, the solution has been attained. Yet it has cost 
years of work to solve the problem in its whole uni 
versality (using the term in the mathematical sense. 


viz., for thai which is sufficient for all cases), and 
finally to exhibit it in the analytical form, as the 
reader finds it here. 

All metaphysicians are therefore solemnly and 
legally suspended from their occupations till they 
shall have answered in a satisfactory manner the 
question, "How are synthetic cognitions a priori ^ pos 
sible?" For the answer contains the only credentials 
which they must show when they have anything to 
offer in the name of pure reason. But if they do not 
possess these credentials, they can expect nothing 
else of reasonable people, who have been deceived so 
often, than to be dismissed without further ado. 

If they on the other hand desire to carry on their 
business, not as a science, but as an art of wholesome 
oratory suited to the common sense of man, they can 
not in justice be prevented. They will then speak the 
modest language of a rational belief, they will grant 
that they are not allowed even to conjecture, far less 
to know, anything which lies beyond the bounds of 
all possible experience, but only to assume (not for 
speculative use, which they must abandon, but for 
practical purposes only) the existence of something 
that is possible and even indispensable for the guid 
ance of the understanding and of the will in life. In 
this manner alone can they be called useful and wise 
men, and the more so as they renounce the title of 
metaphysicians; for the latter profess to be specula 
tive philosophers, and since, when judgments a priori 
are under discussion, poor probabilities cannot be ad 
mitted (for what is declared to be known a priori is 
thereby announced as necessary), such men cannot be 
permitted to play with conjectures, but their assertions 
rcust be either science, or are worth nothing at all. 


It may be said, that the entire transcendental phi 
losophy, which necessarily precedes all metaphysics, 
is nothing but the complete solution of the problem 
here propounded, in systematical order and complete 
ness, and hitherto we have never had any transcen 
dental philosophy; for what goes by its name is prop 
erly a part of metaphysics, whereas the former science 
is intended first to constitute the possibility of the 
latter, and must therefore precede all metaphysics. 
And it is not surprising that when a whole science, 
deprived of all help from other sciences, and conse 
quently in itself quite new, is required to answer a 
single question satisfactorily, we should find the an 
swer troublesome and difficult, nay even shrouded in 

As we now proceed to this solution according to 
the analytical method, in which we assume that such 
cognitions from pure reasons actually exist, we can 
only appeal to two sciences of theoretical cognition 
(which alone is under consideration here), pure math 
ematics and pure natural science (physics). For these 
alone can exhibit to us objects in a definite and actual- 
isable form (in der Anschauvtig), and consequently (if 
there should occur in them a cognition 0/r/0r/)jcan 
show the truth or conformity of the cognition to the 
object in concrete, that is, its actuality, from which we 
could proceed to the reason of its possibility by the 
analytic method. This facilitates our work greatly 
for here universal considerations are not only applied 
to facts, but even start from them, while in a synthe 
tic procedure they must strictly be derived in abstracto 
from concepts. 

But, in order to rise from these actual and at the 
same time well-grounded pure cognitions a priori to 


such a possible cognition of the same as we are seek 
ing, viz., to metaphysics as a science, we must com 
prehend that which occasions it, I mean the mere 
natural, though in spite of its truth not unsuspected, 
cognition a priori which lies at the bottom of that sci 
ence, the elaboration of which without any critical in 
vestigation of its possibility is commonly called meta 
physics. In a word, we must comprehend the natural 
conditions of such a science as a part of our inquiry, 
and thus the transcendental problem will be gradually 
answered by a division into four questions : 

1 . How is pure mat he mat it s possible ? 

2. How is pure natural science possible? 

3. How is metaphysics in general possible? 

4. How is metaphysics as a science possible? 

It may be seen that the solution of these problems, 
though chif fly designed to exhibit the essential matter 
of the Critique, has yet something peculiar, which for 
itself alone deserves attention. This is the search for 
the sources of given sciences in reason itself, so that 
its faculty of knowing something a priori may by its 
own deeds be investigated and measured. By this 
procedure these sciences gain, if not with regard to 
their contents, yet as to their proper use, and while 
they throw light on the higher question concerning 
their common origin, they give, at the same time, an 
occasion better to explain their own nature. 




HERE is a great and established branch of knowl 
edge, encompassing even now a wonderfully 
large domain and promising an unlimited extension in 
the future. Yet it carries with it thoroughly apodeicti- 
cal certainty, i. e., absolute necessity, which therefore 
rests upon no empirical grounds. Consequently it is 
a pure product of reason, and moreover is thoroughly 
synthetical. [Here the question arises :] 

" How then is it possible for human reason to pro 
duce a cognition of this nature entirely a priori?" 

Does not this faculty [which produces mathemat 
ics], as it neither is nor can be baseu upon experi 
ence, presuppose some ground of cognition a priori, 
which lies deeply hidden, but which might reveal it 
self by these its effects, if their first beginnings were 
but diligently ferreted out? 

7. But we find that all mathematical cognition 
has this peculiarity: it must first exhibit its concept 
in a visual form {Anschauung} and indeed a priori, 
therefore in a visual form which is not empirical, but 
pure. Without this mathematics cannot take a single 
step ; hence its judgments are always visual, viz., 


"intuitive"; whereas philosophy must be satisfied 
with discursive judgments from mere concepts, and 
though it may illustrate its doctrines through a visual 
figure, can never derive them from it. This obser 
vation on the nature of mathematics gives us a clue 
to the first and highest condition of its possibility, 
which is, that some non-sensuous visualisation (called 
pure intuition, or rcine Anschauung} must form its 
basis, in which all its concepts can be exhibited or 
consti ucted, in concrcto and yet a priori. If we can 
find cut this pure intuition and its possibility, we may 
thence easily explain how synthetical propositions 
a priori are possible in pure mathematics, and conse 
quently how this science itself is possible. Empirical 
intuition [viz., sense-perception] enables us without 
difficulty to enlarge the concept which we frame of an 
object of intuition [or sense-perception], by new pred 
icates, which intuition [i. e., sense perception] itself 
presents synthetically in experience. Pure intuition 
[viz., the visualisation of forms in our imagination, 
from which every thing sensual, i. e., every thought 
of material qualities, is excluded] does so likewise, 
only with this difference, that in the latter case the 
synthetical judgment is a priori certain and apodeic- 
tical, in the former, only a posteriori and empirically 
certain ; because this latter contains only that which 
occurs in contingent empirical intuition, but the for 
mer, that which must necessarily be discovered in 
pure intuition. Here intuition, being an intuition a 
priori, is before all experience, viz., before any percep 
tion of particular objects, inseparably conjoined with 
its concept. 

8. But with this step our perplexity seems rather 
to increase than to lessen. For the question now 


is, " How is it possible to intuite [in a visual form] 
anything a priori?" An intuition [viz., a visual sense- 
perception] is such a representation as immediately 
depends upon the presence of the object. Hence it 
seems impossible to intuite from the outset a priori, be 
cause intuition would in that event take place without 
either a former or a present object to refer to, and by 
consequence could not be intuition. Concepts indeed 
are such, that we can easily form some of them a 
priori, viz., such as contain nothing but the thought 
of an object in general ; and we need not find our 
selves in an immediate relation to the object. Take, 
for instance, the concepts of Quantity, of Cause, etc. 
But even these require, in order to make them under 
stood, a certain concrete use that is, an application 
to some sense-experience (Anschauung}, by which an 
object of them is given us. But how can the intui 
tion of the object [its visualisation] precede the ob 
ject itself? 

""9. If our intuition [i. e., our sense-experience] 
were perforce of such a nature as to represent things 
as they are in themselves, there would not be any in 
tuition a priori, but intuition would be always empir- 
, ical. For I can only know what is contained in the ob 
ject in itself when it is present and given to me. It is 
indeed even then incomprehensible how the visualis 
ing (Anschauung) of a present thing should make me 
know this thing as it is in itself, as its properties can 
not migrate into my faculty of representation. But 
even granting this possibility, a visualising of that 
sort would not take place a priori, that is, before the 
object were presented to me ; for without this latter 
fact no reason of a relation between my representa- 


tion and the object can be imagined, unless it depend 
upon a direct inspiration. 

Therefore in one way only can my intuition 
{Anscliauung} anticipate the actuality of the ob 
ject, and be a cognition a priori, viz. : Jf my intui 
tion contains nothing but the form of sensibility, 
antedating in my subjectivity all the actual im 
pressions through which I am affected by objects. 
For that objects of sense can only be intuited ac 
cording to this form of sensibility I can know a priori. 
Hence it follows : that propositions, which concern 
this form of sensuous intuition only, are possible and 
valid for objects of the senses ; as also, conversely, 
that intuitions which are possible a priori can never 
concern any other things than objects of our senses. 1 
10. Accordingly, it is only the form of sensuous 
intuition by which we can intuite things a priori, but 
by which we can know objects only as they appear to 
us (to our senses), not as they are in themselves ; and 
this assumption is absolutely necessary if synthetical 
propositions a priori be granted as possible, or if, in 
case they actually occur, their possibility is to be 
comprehended and determined beforehand. 

Now, the intuitions which pure mathematics lays 
at the foundation of all its cognitions and judgments 
which appear at once apodeictic and necessary are 
Space and Time. For mathematics must first have 
all its concepts in intuition, and pure mathematics in 
pure intuition, that is, construct them. If it 
proceeded in any other way, it would be impossible 
to make any headway, for mathematics proceeds, not 

1 This whole paragraph (9) will be better understood when compared 
with Remark I., following this section, appearing in the present edition on 
page 40. Ed. 


analytically by dissection of concepts, but synthetic 
ally, and if pure intuition be wanting, there is nothing 
in which the matter for synthetical judgments a priori 
can be given. Geometry is based upon the pure in 
tuition of space. Arithmetic accomplishes its concept 
of number by the successive addition of units in time; 
and pure mechanics especially cannot attain its con 
cepts of motion without employing the representation 
of time. Both representations, however, are only in 
tuitions ; for if we omit from the empirical intuitions 
of bodies and their alterations (motion) everything 
empirical, or belonging to sensation, space and time 
still remain, which are therefore pure intuitions that 
lie a priori at the basis of the empirical. Hence they 
can never be omitted, but at the same time, by their 
being pure intuitions a priori, they prove that they are 
mere forms of our sensibility, which must precede all 
empirical intuition, or perception of actual objects, 
and conformably to which objects can be known a 
priori, but only as they appear to us. 

ii. The problem of the present section is there 
fore solved. Pure mathematics, as synthetical cogni 
tion a priori, is only possible by referring to no other 
objects than those of the senses. At the basis of their 
empirical intuition lies a pure intuition (of space and 
of time) which is a priori. This is possible, because 
the latter intuition is nothing but the mere form of 
sensibility, which precedes the actual appearance of 
the objects, in that it, in fact, makes them possible. 
Yet this faculty of intuiting a priori affects not the 
matter of the phenomenon (that is, the sense-element 
in it, for this constitutes that which is empirical), but 
its form, viz., space and time. Should any man ven 
ture to doubt that these are determinations adhering 


not to things in themselves, but to their relation to 
our sensibility, I should be glad to know how it can 
be possible to know the constitution of things a priori, 
viz., before we have any acquaintance with them and 
before they are presented to us. Such, however, is 
the case with space and time. . But this is quite com 
prehensible as soon as both count for nothing more 
than _formal conditions of our sensibility, while the 
ob]ecjts_CQunt merely as phenomena ; for then the form 
of the phenomenon, i. e., pure intuition, can by all 
means be represented as proceeding from ourselves, 
that is, a priori. 

12. In order to add something by way of illus 
tration and confirmation, we need only watch the 
ordinary and necessary procedure of geometers. All 
proofs of the complete congruence of two given fig 
ures (where the one can in every respect be substi 
tuted for the other) come ultimately to this that they 
may be made to coincide; which is evidently noth 
ing else than a synthetical proposition resting upon 
immediate intuition, and this intuition must be pure, 
^pr given a priori, otherwise the proposition could not 
rank as apodeictically certain, but would have em 
pirical certainty only. In that case, it could only be 
said that it is always found to be so, and holds good 
only as far as our perception reaches. That every 
where space (which [in its entirety] is itself no longer 
:he boundary of another space) has three dimensions, 
and that space cannot in any way have more, is based 
on the proposition that not more than three lines can 
intersect at right angles in one point ; but this prop 
osition cannot by any means be shown from concepts, 
but rests immediately on intuition, and indeed on pure 
and a priori intuition, because it is apodeictically cer- 


tain. That we can require a line to be drawn to in 
finity (in indefinitum), or that a series of changes (for 
example, spaces traversed by motion) shall be infi 
nitely continued, presupposes a representation of 
^pace and time, which can only attach to intuition, 
namely, so far as it in itself is bounded by nothing, 
for from concepts it could never be inferred. Conse 
quently, the basis of mathematics actually are pure 
intuitions, which make its synthetical and apodeic- 
tically valid propositions possible. Hence our tran 
scendental deduction of the notions of space and of 
time explains at the same time the possibility of pure 
mathematics. Without some such deduction its truth 
may be granted, but its existence could by no means 
be understood, and we must assume "that everything 
which can be given to our senses (to the external 
senses in space, to the internal one in time) is intuited 
by us as it appears to us, not as it is in itself." 

13. Those who cannot yet rid themselves of the 
notion that space and time are actual qualities inher 
ing in things in themselves, may exercise their acumen 
on the following paradox. When they have in vain 
attempted its solution, and are free from prejudices 
at least for a few moments, they will suspect that the 
degradation of space and of time to mere forms of 
our sensuous intuition may perhaps be well founded. 

If two things are quite equal in all respects as 
much as can be ascertained by all means possible, 
quantitatively and qualitatively, it must follow, that 
the one can in all cases and under all circumstances 
replace the other, and this substitution would not oc 
casion the least perceptible difference. This in fact 
is true of plane figures in geometry; but some spher 
ical figures exhibit, notwithstanding a complete in- 


ternal agreement, such a contrast in their external 
relation, that the one figure cannot possibly be put in 
the place of the other. For instance, two spherical 
triangles on opposite hemispheres, which have an arc 
of the equator as their common base, may be quite 
equal, both as regards sides and angles, so that noth 
ing is to be found in either, if it be described for itself 
alone and completed, that would not equally be ap 
plicable to both ; and yet the one cannot be put in the 
place of the other (being situated upon the opposite 
hemisphere). Here then is an internal difference be 
tween the two triangles, which difference our under 
standing cannot describe as internal, and which only 
manifests itself by external relations in space. 

But I shall adduce examples, taken from common 
life, that are more obvious still. 

What can be more similar in every respect and in 
every part more alike to my hand and to my ear, than 
their images in a mirror? And yet I cannot put such 
a hand as is seen in the glass in the place of its arche 
type ; for if this is a right hand, that in the glass is a 
left one, and the image or reflexion of the right ear is 
a left one which never can serve as a substitute for 
the other. There are in this case no internal differ 
ences which our understanding could determine by 
thinking alone. Yet the differences are internal as 
the senses teach, for, notwithstanding their complete 
equality and similarity, the left hand cannot be en 
closed in the same bounds as the right one (they are 
not congruent); the glove of one hand cannot be used 
for the other. What is the solution? These objects 
are not representations of things as they are in them 
selves, and as the pure understanding would cognise 
them, but sensuous intuitions, that is, appearances, 


the possibility of which rests upon the relation of cer 
tain things unknown in themselves to something else, 
viz., to our sensibility. Space is the form of the ex 
ternal intuition of this sensibility, and the internal 
determination of every space is only possible by the 
determination of its external relation to the whole 
space, of which it is a part (in other words, by its re 
lation to the external sense). That is to say, the part 
is only possible through the whole, which is never the 
case with things in themselves, as objects of the mere 
understanding, but with appearances only. Hence 
the difference between similar and equal things, which 
are yet not congruent (for instance, two symmetric 
helices), cannot be made intelligible by any concept, 
but only by the relation to the right and the left hands 
which immediately refers to intuition. 


Pure Mathematics, and especially pure geometry, 
can only have objective reality on condition that they 
refer to objects of sense. But in regard to the latter 
the principle holds good, that our sense representa 
tion is not a representation of things in themselves, 
but of the way in which they appear to us. Hence it 
follows, that the propositions of geometry are not the 
results of a mere creation of our poetic imagination, 
and that therefore they cannot be referred with assu 
rance to actual objects ; but rather that they are nec 
essarily valid of space, and consequently of all that 
may be found in space, because space is nothing else 
than the form of all external appearances, and it is 
this form alone in which objects of sense can be given. 
Sensibility, the form of which is the basis of geom 
etry, is that upon which the possibility of external 


appearance depends. Therefore these appearances 
can never contain anything but what geometry pre 
scribes to them. 

It would be quite otherwise if the senses were so 
constituted as to represent objects as they are in 
themselves. For then it would not by any means fol 
low from the conception of space, which with all its 
properties serves to the geometer as an a priori foun 
dation, together with what is thence inferred, must 
be so in nature. The space of the geometer would 
be considered a mere fiction, and it would not be 
credited with objective validity, because we cannot 
see how things must of necessity agree with an image 
of them, which we make spontaneously and previous 
to our acquaintance with them. But if this image, or 
rather this formal intuition, is the essential property of 
our sensibility, by means of which alone objects are 
given to us, and if this sensibility represents not 
things in themselves, but their appearances: we shall 
easily comprehend, and at the same time indisputably 
prove, that all external objects of our world of sense 
must necessarily coincide in the most rigorous way 
with the propositions of geometry ; because sensibil 
ity by means of its form of external intuition, viz., by 
space, the same with which the geometer is occupied, 
makes those objects at all possible as mere appear 

It will always remain a remarkable phenomenon 
in the history of philosophy, that there was a time, 
when even mathematicians, who at the same time 
were philosophers, began to doubt, not of the accuracy 
of their geometrical propositions so far as they con 
cerned space, but of their objective validity and the 
applicability of this concept itself, and of all its corol 


laries, to nature. They showed much concern whether 
a line in nature might not consist of physical points, 
and consequently that true space in the object might 
consist of simple [discrete] parts, while the space 
which the geometer has in his mind [being continu 
ous] cannot be such. They did not recognise that 
this mental space renders possible the physical space, 
i. e., the extension of matter; that this pure space is 
not at all a quality of things in themselves, but a form 
of our sensuous faculty of representation ; and that 
all objects in space are mere appearances, i. e., not 
things in themselves but representations of our sensu 
ous intuition. But such is the case, for the space of 
the geometer is exactly the form of sensuous intuition 
which we find a priori in us, and contains the ground 
of the possibility of all external appearances (accord 
ing to their form), and the latter must necessarily and 
most rigidly agree with the propositions of the geom 
eter, which he draws not from any fictitious concept, 
but from the subjective basis of all external phenom 
ena, which is sensibility itself. In this and no other 
way can geometry be made secure as to the undoubted 
objective reality of its propositions against all the in 
trigues of a shallow Metaphysics, which is surprised 
at them [the geometrical propositions], because it 
has not traced them to the sources of their concepts. 


Whatever is given us as object, must be given us 
in intuition. All our intuition however takes place by 
means of the senses only; the understanding intuites 
nothing, but only reflects. And as we have just shown 
that the senses never and in no manner enable us to 
know things in themselves, but only their appear- 


ances, which are mere representations of the sensi 
bility, we conclude that all bodies, together with the 
space in which they are, must be considered nothing 
but mere representations in us, and exist nowhere but 
in our thoughts. You will say : Is not this manifest 
idealism ? 

Idealism consists in the assertion, that there are 
none but thinking beings, all other things, which we 
think are perceived in intuition, being nothing but 
representations in the thinking beings, to which no 
object external to them corresponds in fact. Whereas 
I say, that things as objects of our senses existing 
outside us are given, but we know nothing of what 
they may be in themselves, knowing only their ap 
pearances, i. e. , the representations which they cause 
in us by affecting our senses. Consequently I grant 
by all means that there are bodies without us, that is, 
things which, though quite unknown to us as to what 
they are in themselves, we yet know by the represen 
tations which their influence on our sensibility pro 
cures us, and which we call bodies, a term signifying 
merely the appearance of the thing which is unknown 
to us, but not therefore less actual. Can this be 
termed idealism? It is the very contrary. 

Long before Locke s time, but assuredly since 
him, it has been generally assumed and granted with 
out detriment to the actual existence of external 
things, that many of their predicates may be said to 
belong not to the things in themselves, but to their 
appearances, and to have no proper existence outside 
o ir representation. Heat, color, and taste, for in 
stance, are of this kind. Now, if I go farther, and for 
weighty reasons rank as mere appearances the re 
maining qualities of bodies also, which are called pri- 


mary, such as extension, place, and in general space, 
with all that which belongs to it (impenetrability or 
materiality, space, etc.) no one in the least can ad 
duce the reason of its being inadmissible. As little 
as the man who admits colors not to be properties of 
the object in itself, but only as modifications of the 
sense of sight, should on that account be called an 
idealist, so little can my system be named idealistic, 
merely because I find that more, nay, 

All the properties which constitute the intuition of a 
body belong merely to its appearance. 

The existence of the thing that appears is thereby 
not destroyed, as in genuine idealism, but it is only 
shown, that we cannot possibly know it by the senses 
as it is in itself. 

I should be glad to know what my assertions must 
be in order to avoid all idealism. Undoubtedly, I 
should say, that the representation of space is not 
only perfectly conformable to the relation which our 
sensibility has to objects that I have said but that 
it is quite similar to the object, an assertion in which 
I can find as little meaning as if I said that the sensa 
tion of red has a similarity to the property of vermil 
ion, which in me excites this sensation. 


Hence we may at once dismiss an easily foreseen 
but futile objection, "that by admitting the ideality 
of space and of time the whole sensible world would 
be turned into mere sham." At first all philosophical 
insight into the nature of sensuous cognition was 
spoiled, by making the sensibility merely a confused 
mode of representation, according to which we still 
know things as they are, but without being able to re- 


duce everything in this our representation to a clear 
consciousness ; whereas proof is offered by us that 
sensibility consists, not in this logical distinction of 
clearness and obscurity, but in the genetical one of 
the origin of cognition itself. For sensuous percep 
tion represents things not at all as they are, but only 
the mode in which they affect our senses, and conse 
quently by sensuous perception appearances only and 
not things themselves are given to the understanding 
for reflexion. After this necessary corrective, an ob 
jection rises from an unpardonable and almost inten 
tional misconception, as if my doctrine turned all the 
things of the world of sense into mere illusion. 

When an appearance is given us, we are still quite 
free as to how we should judge the matter. The ap 
pearance depends upon the senses, but the judgment 
upon the understanding, and the only question is, 
whether in the determination of the object there is 
truth or not. But the difference between truth and 
dreaming is not ascertained by the nature of the rep 
resentations, which are referred to objects (for they 
are the same in both cases), but by their connexion 
according to those rules, which determine the coher 
ence of the representations in the concept of an ob 
ject, and by ascertaining whether they can subsist to 
gether in experience or not. And it is not the fault 
of the appearances if our cognition takes illusion for 
truth, i. e., if the intuition, by which an object is given 
us, is considered a concept of the thing or of its exist 
ence also, which the understanding can only think. 
The senses represent to us the paths of the planets as 
now progressive, now retrogressive, and herein is 
neither falsehood nor truth, because as long as we 
hold this path to be nothing but appearance, we do 


not judge of the objective nature of their motion. But 
as a false judgment may easily arise when the under 
standing is not on its guard against this subjective 
mode of representation being considered objective, 
we say they appear to move backward ; it is not the 
senses however which must be charged with the illu 
sion, but the understanding, whose province alone it 
is to give an objective judgment on appearances. 

Thus, even if we did not at all reflect on the origin 
of our representations, whenever we connect our in 
tuitions of sense (whatever they may contain), in 
space and in time, according to the rules of the coher 
ence of all cognition in experience, illusion or truth 
will arise according as we are negligent or careful. It 
is merely a question of the use of sensuous represen 
tations in the understanding, and not of their origin. 
In the same way, if I consider all the representations 
of the senses, together with their form, space and 
time, to be nothing but appearances, and space and 
time to be a mere form of the sensibility, which is not 
to be met with in objects out of it, and if I make use 
of these representations in reference to possible ex 
perience only, there is nothing in my regarding them 
as appearances that can lead astray or cause illusion. 
For all that they can correctly cohere according to 
rules of truth in experience. Thus all the proposi 
tions of geometry hold good of space as well as of all 
the objects of the senses, consequently of all possible 
experience, whether I consider space as a mere form 
of the sensibility, or as something cleaving to the 
things themselves. In the former case however I com 
prehend how I can know a priori these propositions 
concerning all the objects of external intuition. Other 
wise, everything else as regards all possible experience 


remains just as if I had not departed from the vulgar 

But if I venture to go beyond all possible experi 
ence with my notions of space and time, which I can 
not refrain from doing if I proclaim them, qualities 
inherent in things in themselves (for what should pre 
vent me from letting them hold good of the same 
things, even though my senses might be different, and 
unsuited to them?), then a grave error may arise due 
to illusion, for thus I would proclaim to be universally 
valid what is merely a subjective condition of the in 
tuition of things and sure only for all objects of sense, 
viz., for all possible experience; I would refer this 
condition to things in themselves, and do not limit it 
to the conditions of experience. 

My doctrine of the ideality of space and of time, 
therefore, far from reducing the whole sensible world 
to mere illusion, is the only means of securing the ap 
plication of one of the most important cognitions (that 
which mathematics propounds a priori} to actual ob 
jects, and of preventing its being regarded as mere 
illusion. For without this observation it would be 
quite impossible to make out whether the intuitions 
of space and time, which we borrow from no experi 
ence, and which yet lie in our representation a priori, 
are not mere phantasms of our brain, to which objects 
do not correspond, at least not adequately, and con 
sequently, whether we have been able to show its un 
questionable validity with regard to all the objects of 
the sensible world just because they are mere appear 

Secondly, though these my principles make ap 
pearances of the representations of the senses, they 
are so far from turning the truth of experience into 


mere illusion, that they are rather the only means of 
preventing the transcendental illusion, by which meta 
physics has hitherto been deceived, leading to the 
childish endeavor of catching at bubbles, because ap 
pearances, which are mere representations, were taken 
for things in themselves. Here originated the remark 
able event of the antimony of Reason which I shall 
mention by and by, and which is destroyed by the 
single observation, that appearance, as long as it is 
employed in experience, produces truth, but the mo 
ment it transgresses the bounds of experience, and 
consequently becomes transcendent, produces nothing 
but illusion. 

Inasmuch, therefore, as I leave to things as we 
obtain them by the senses their actuality, and only 
limit our sensuous intuition of these things to this, 
that they represent in no respect, not even in the 
pure intuitions of space and of time, anything more 
than mere appearance of those things, but never their 
constitution in themselves, this is not a sweeping illu 
sion invented for nature by me. My protestation too 
against all charges of idealism is so valid and clear 
as even to seem superfluous, were there not incompe 
tent judges, who, while they would have an old name 
for every deviation from their perverse though com 
mon opinion, and never judge of the spirit of philo 
sophic nomenclature, but cling to the letter only, are 
ready to put their own conceits in the place of well- 
defined notions, and thereby deform and distort them. 
I have myself given this my theory the name of tran 
scendental idealism, but that cannot authorise any 
one to confound it either with the empirical idealism 
of Descartes, (indeed, his was only an insoluble prob 
lem, owing to which he thought every one at liberty 


to deny the existence of the corporeal world, because 
it could never be proved satisfactorily), or with the 
mystical and visionary idealism of Berkeley, against 
which and other similar phantasms our Critique con 
tains the proper antidote. My idealism concerns not 
the existence of things (the doubting of which, how 
ever, constitutes idealism in the ordinary sense), sine;; 
it never came into my head to doubt it, but it con 
cerns the sensuous representation of things, to which 
space and time especially belong. Of these [viz., 
space and time], consequently of all appearances in 
general, I have only shown, that they are neither 
things (but mere modes of representation), nor deter 
minations belonging to things in themselves. But 
the word "transcendental, * which with me means a 
reference of our cognition, i. e., not to things, but 
only to the cognitive faculty, was meant to obviate 
this misconception. Yet rather than give further oc 
casion to it by this word, I now retract it, and desire 
this idealism of mine to be called critical. But if it 
be really an objectionable idealism to convert actual 
things (not appearances) into mere representations, 
by what name shall we call him who conversely 
changes mere representations to things? It may. 1 
think, be called "dreaming idealism," in contradis 
tinction to the former, which may be called "vision 
ary," both of which are to be refuted by my transcen 
dental, or, better, critical idealism. 



ATATURE is the existence of things, so far as it is. 
li determined according to universal laws. Should 
nature signify the existence of things .in themselves, 
we could never cognise it either a priori or a posteriori. 
Not a priori, for how can we know what belongs to 
things in themselves, since this never can be done by 
the dissection of our concepts (in analytical judg 
ments)? We do not want to know what is. contained 
in our concept of a thing (for the [concept describes 
what] belongs to its logical being), but what is in the 
actuality of the thing superadded to our concept, and 
by what the thing itself is determined in its existence 
outside the concept. Our understanding, and the con 
ditions on which alone it can connect the determina 
tions of things in their existence, do not prescribe 
any rule to things themselves ; these do not conform 
to our understanding, but it must conform itself to 
them ; they must therefore be first given us in order 
to gather these determinations from them, wherefore 
they would not be cognised a priori. 

A cognition of the nature of things in themselves 
a posteriori would be equally impossible. For, if ex- 


perience is to teach us laws, to which the existence 
of things is subject, these laws, if they regard things 
in themselves, must belong to them of necessity even 
outside our experience. But experience teaches us 
what exists and how it exists, but never that it must 
necessarily exist so and not otherwise. Experience 
therefore can never teach us the nature of things in 

15. We nevertheless actually possess a pure sci 
ence of nature in which are propounded, a priori and 
with all the necessity requisite to apodeictical propo 
sitions, laws to which nature is subject. I need only 
call to witness that propaedeutic of natural science 
which, under the title of the universal Science of Na 
ture, precedes all Physics (which is founded upon 
empirical principles). In it we hive Mathematics ap 
plied to appearance, and also merely discursive prin 
ciples (or those derived from concepts), which con 
stitute the philosophical part of the pure cognition of 
nature. But there are several things in it, which are 
not quite pure and independent of empirical sources: 
such as the concept of motion, that of impenetrability 
(upon which the empirical concept of matter rests), 
that of inertia, and many others, which prevent its 
being called a perfectly pure science of nature. Be 
sides, it only refers to objects of the external sense, 
and therefore does not give an example of a universal 
science of nature, in the strict sense, for such a sci 
ence must reduce nature in general, whether it regards 
the object of the external or that of the internal sense 
(the object of Physics as well as Psychology), to uni 
versal laws. But among the principles of this uni 
versal physics there are a few which actually have 
the required universality^ for instance, the proposi- 


tions that "substance is permanent/ and that " every 
event is determined by a cause according to constant 
laws," etc. These are actually universal laws of na 
ture, which subsist completely a priori. There is then 
in fact a pure science of nature, and the question 
arises, How is it possible ? 

1 6. The word " nature" assumes yet another 
meaning, which determines the object, whereas in the 
former sense it only denotes the conformity to law 
\Gtsctzmdssigkcit\ of the determinations of the exist 
ence of things generally. If we consider it matcrialitcr 
(i. e., in the matter that forms its objects) "nature is 
the complex of all the objects of experience." And 
with this only are we now concerned, for besides, 
things which can never be objects of experience, if 
they must be cognised as to their nature, would oblige 
us to have recourse to concepts whose meaning could 
never be given in concrcto (by any example of possible 
experience). Consequently we must form for ourselves 
a list of concepts of their nature, the reality whereof 
(i. e., whether they actually refer to objects, or are 
mere creations of thought) could never be determined. 
The cognition of what cannot be an object of experi 
ence would be hyperphysical, and with things hyper- 
physical we are here not concerned, but only with 
the cognition of nature, the actuality of which can be 
confirmed by experience, though it [the cognition of 
nature] is possible a priori and precedes all experi 

17. The formal [aspect] of nature in this nar 
rower sense is therefore the conformity to law of all 
the objects of experience, and so far as it is cognised 
a priori, their necessary conformity. But it has just 
been shown that the laws of nature can never be cog- 


nised a priori in objects so far as they are considered 
not in reference to possible experience, but as things 
in themselves. And our inquiry here extends not to 
things in themselves (the properties of which we pass 
by), but to things as objects of possible experience, 
and the complex of these is what we properly desig 
nate as nature. And now I ask, when the possibility 
of a cognition of nature a priori is in question, whether 
it is better to arrange the problem thus : How can 
we cognise a priori that things as objects of experi 
ence necessarily conform to law? or thus : How is it 
possible to cognise a priori the necessary conformity 
to law of experience itself as regards all its objects 

Closely considered, the solution of the problem, 
represented in either way, amounts, with regard to the 
pure cognition of nature (which is the point of the 
question at issue), entirely to the same thing. For 
the subjective laws, under which alone an empirical 
cognition of things is possible, hold good of these 
things, as objects of possible experience (not as things 
in themselves, which are not considered here). Either 
of the following statements means quite the same : 

A judgment of observation can never rank as ex 
perience, without the law, that " whenever an event 
is observed, it is always referred to some antecedent, 
which it follows according to a universal rule." 

"Everything, of which experience teaches that it 
happens, must have a cause." 

It is, however, more commendable to choose the 
first formula. For we can a priori and previous to all 
given objects have a cognition of those conditions, on 
which alone experience is possible, but never of the 
laws to which things may in themselves be subject, 


without reference to possible experience. We cannot 
therefore study the nature of things a priori otherwise 
than by investigating the conditions and the universal 
(though subjective) laws, under which alone such a 
cognition as experience (as to mere form) is possible, 
and we determine accordingly the possibility of things, 
as objects of experience. For if I should choose the 
second formula, and seek the conditions a priori, on 
which nature as an object of experience is possible, I 
might easily fall into error, and fancy that I was speak 
ing of nature as a thing in itself, and then move round 
in endless circles, in a vain search for laws concern 
ing things of which nothing is given me. 

Accordingly we shall here be concerned with^ex- 
perience only, and the universal conditions of its pos 
sibility which are given a priori. Thence we shall 
determine nature as the whole object of all possible 
experience. I think it will be understood that I here 
do not mean the rules of the observation of a nature 
that is already given, for these already presuppose 
experience. I do not mean how (through experience) 
we can study the laws of nature ; for these would not 
then be laws a priori, and would yield us no pure sci 
ence of nature ; but [I mean to ask] how the condi 
tions a priori of the possibility of experience are at 
the same time the sources from which all the uni 
versal laws of nature must be derived. 

1 8. In the first place we must state that, while 
all judgments of experience {Erfahrungsurtheile} are 
empirical (i. e., have their ground in immediate sense- 
perception), vice versa, all empirical judgments (em- 
pirischt Urtheile) are not judgments of experience, 
but, besides the empirical, and in general besides 
what is given to the sensuous intuition, particular 


concepts must yet be superadded concepts which 
have their origin quite a priori in the pure under 
standing, and under which every perception must be 
first of all subsumed and then by their means changed 
into experience. 1 

Empirical judgments, so far as they have objec 
tive validity, are judgments of experience; but those 
which are only subjectively valid, I name mere judg 
ments of perception. The latter require no pure con 
cept of the understanding, but only the logical con 
nexion of perception in a thinking subject. But the 
former always require, besides the representation of 
the sensuous intuition, particular concepts originally 
begotten in the understanding, which produce the objec 
tive validity of the judgment of experience. 

All our judgments are at first merely judgments of 
perception; they hold good only for us (i. e., for our 
subject), and we do not till afterwards give them a 
new reference (to an object), and desire that they 
shall always hold good for us and in the same way 
for everybody else ; for when a judgment agrees with 
an object, all judgments concerning the same object 
must likewise agree among themselves, and thus the 
^objective validity of the judgment of experience sig 
nifies nothing else than its necessary universality of 
application. And conversely when we have reason 
to consider a judgment necessarily universal (which 
never depends upon perception, but upon the pure 
concept of the understanding, under which the per 
ception is subsumed), we must consider it objective 

s ~ >\ 

1 Empirical judgments (empirische UrtheiU} are either mere statements 
of fact, viz.. records of a perception, or statements of a natural law, implying 
a causal connexion between two facts. The former Kant calls "judgments 
of perception" ( nehmungsurtheile], the latter "judgments of experi 
ence [Rrfahrungsurtheile], Ed, 


also, that is, that it expresses not merely a reference 
of our perception to a subject, but a quality of the 
object. For there would be no reason for the judg 
ments of other men necessarily agreeing with mine, if 
it were not the unity of the object to which they all 
refer, and with which they accord ; hence they must 
all agree with one another. 

19. Therefore objective validity and necessary 
^universality (for everybody) are equivalent terms, and 
though we do not know the object in itself, yet when 
we consider a judgment as universal, and also neces 
sary, we understand it to have objective validity. By 
this judgment we cognise the object (though it remains 
unknown as it is in itself) by the universal and neces 
sary connexion of the given perceptions. As this is 
the case with all objects of senst^jiufo fronts of pyp^- 
r i e n ce take their objective validity not from the im 
mediate cognition of the object fwhich is impossible), 
buTTrom the condition of universal validity in empiri 
cal judgments, which, as already said, never rests 
upon empirical, or, in short, sensuous conditions, but 
upon a pure concept of_the_jjnderstanding. The ob 
ject always remajiis_unjn^wji_in_ jtself j but when hy_ 
the concept of the understanding the connexion_oi_the 
representations of the object, which are given to our 
sensibility, is determined as universally valid, the ob- 
ject is determined by this relation, and it is the judg 
ment that is objective. 

To illustrate the matter : When we say, the room 
is warm, sugar sweet, and wormwood bitter," 1 we 

1 1 freely grant that these examples do not represent such judgments of 
perception as ever could become judgments of experience, even though a 
concept of the understanding were superadded, because they refer merely 
to feeling, which everybody knows to be merely subjective, and which of 
course can never be attributed to the object, and consequently never become 


have only subjectively valid judgments. I do not at 
all expect that I or any other person shall always find 
it as I now do; each of these sentences only expresses 
a relation of two sensations to the same subject, to 
myself, and that only in my present state of percep 
tion ; consequently they are not valid of the object. 
Such are judgments of perception. Judgments of ex 
perience are of quite a different nature. What expe 
rience teaches me under certain circumstances, it must 
always teach me and everybody ; and its validity is 
not limited to the subject nor to its state at a particu 
lar time. Hence I pronounce all such judgments as 
being objectively valid. For instance, when I say the 
air is elastic, this judgment is as yet a judgment of 
perception only I do nothing but refer two of my 
sensations to one another. But, if I would have it 
called a judgment of experience, I require this con 
nexion to stand under a condition, which makes it 
universally valid. I desire therefore that I and every 
body else should always connect necessarily the same 
perceptions under the same circumstances. 

20. We must consequently analyse experience 
in order to see what is contained in this product of 
the senses and of the understanding, and how the 
judgment of experience itself is possible. The foun 
dation is the intuition of which I become conscious, 
J. e., perception {perceptid)> which pertains merely to 
the senses. But in the next place, there are acts of 
judging (which belong only to the understanding). 
But this judging may be twofold first, I may merely 

objective. I only wished to give here an example of a judgment that is 
merely subjectively valid, containing no ground for universal validity, and 
thereby for a relation to the object. An example of the judgments of per 
ception, which become judgments of experience by superadded concepts of 
the understanding, will be given in the next note. 


compare perceptions and connect them in a particular 
state of my consciousness; or, secondly, I may con 
nect them in consciousness generally. The former 
judgment is merely a judgment of perception, and of 
subjective validity only : it is merely a connexion of 
perceptions in my mental state, without reference to 
the object. Hence it is not, as is commonly imagined, 
enough for experience to compare perceptions and to 
connect them in consciousness through judgment; 
there arises no universality and necessity, for which 
alone judgments can become objectively valid and be 
called experience. 

Quite another judgment therefore is required be 
fore perception can become experience. The given 
intuition must be subsumed under a concept, which 
determines the form of judging in general relatively 
to the intuition, connects its empirical consciousness 
in consciousness generally, and thereby procures uni 
versal validity for empirical judgments. A concept of 
this nature is a pure a priori concept of the Under 
standing, which does nothing but determine for an 
intuition the general way in which it can be used for 
judgments. Let the concept be that of cause, then it 
determines the intuition which is subsumed under it, 
e. g., that of air, relative to judgments in general, 
viz., the concept of air serves with regard to its ex 
pansion in the relation of antecedent to consequent in 
a hypothetical judgment. The concept of cause ac 
cordingly is a p.ure concept of the understanding, 
which is totally disparate from all possible perception, 
and only serves to determine the representation sub 
sumed under it, relatively to judgments in general, 
and so to make a universally valid judgment possible. 

Before, therefore, a judgment of perception can 


become a judgment of experience, it is requisite that 
the perception should be subsumed under some such 
a concept of the understanding; for instance, air 
ranks under the concept of causes, which determines 
our judgment about it in regard to its expansion as 
hypothetical. 1 Thereby the expansion of the air is 
represented not as merely belonging to the perception 
of the air in my present state or in several states of 
mine, or in the state of perception of others, but as 
belonging to it necessarily. The judgment, "the air 
is elastic," becomes universally valid, and a judgment 
of experience, only by certain judgments preceding 
it, which subsume the intuition of air under the con 
cept of cause and effect: and they thereby determine 
the perceptions not merely as regards one another in 
me, but relatively to the form of judging in general, 
which is here hypothetical, and in this way they ren 
der the empirical judgment universally valid. 

If all our synthetical judgments are analysed so 
far as they are objectively valid, it will be found that 
they never consist of mere intuitions connected only 
(as is commonly believed) by comparison into a judg 
ment ; but that they would be impossible were not a 
pure concept of the understanding superadded to the 
concepts abstracted from intuition, under which con 
cept these latter are subsumed, and in this manner 
only combined into an objectively valid judgment. 

1 As an easier example, we may take the following : " When the sun shines 
on the stone, it grows warm." This judgment, however often I and others 
may have perceived it, is a mere judgment of perception, and contains no 
necessity; perceptions are only usually conjoined in this manner. But if I 
say, "The sun warms the stone," I add to the perception a concept of the 
understanding, viz., that of cause, which connects with the concept of sun 
shine that of heat as a necessary consequence, and the synthetical judgment 
becomes of necessity universally valid, viz., objective, and is converted from 
a perception into experience. 


Even the judgments of pure mathematics in their sim 
plest axioms are not exempt from this condition. The 
principle, "a straight line is the shortest between two 
points," presupposes that the line is subsumed under 
the concept of quantity, which certainly is no mere 
intuition, but has its seat in the understanding alone, 
and serves to determine the intuition (of the line) 
with regard to the judgments which may be made 
about it, relatively to their quantity, that is, to plu 
rality (as judicia plurativd). 1 For under them it is 
understood that in a given intuition there is contained 
a plurality of homogenous parts. 

21. To prove, then, the possibility of experience 
so far as it rests upon pure concepts of the understand 
ing a priori, we must first represent what belongs to 
judgments in general and the various functions of the 
understanding, in a complete table. For the pure con 
cepts of the understanding must run parallel to these 
functions, as such concepts are nothing more than con 
cepts of intuitions in general, so far as these are deter 
mined by one or other of these functions of judging, 
in themselves, that is, necessarily and universally. 
Hereby also the a priori principles of the possibility 
of all experience, as of an objectively valid empirical 
cognition, will be precisely determined. For they are 
nothing but propositions by which all perception is 
(under certain universal conditions of intuition) sub 
sumed under those pure concepts of the understanding. 

IThis name seems preferable to the term par ticularia, which is used for 
these judgments in logic. For the latter implies the idea that they are not 
universal. But when I start from unity (in single judgments) and so proceed 
to universality, I must not [even indirectly and negatively] imply any refer 
ence to universality. I think plurality merely without universality, and not 
the exception from universality. This is necessary, if logical considerations 
shall form the basis of the pure concepts of the understanding. However, 
there is no need of making changes in logic. 


Logical Table of Judgments. 

I. 2. 

As to Quantity. As to Quality. 
Universal. Affirmative. 

Particular. Negative. 

Singular. Infinite. 

3- 4- 

As to Relation. As to Modality. 
Categorical. Problematical. 

Hypothetical. Assertorical. 

Disjunctive. Apodeictical. 

Transcendental Table of the Pure Concepts of the 
Understa nding. 

I. 2. 

As to Quantity. As to Quality. 
Unity (the Measure). Reality. 

Plurality (the Quantity). Negation. 

Totality (the Whole). Limitation. 

3- 4- 

As to Relation. As to M odalily. 

Substance. Possibility. 

Cause. Existence. 

Community. Necessity. 

Pure Physiological Table of the Universal Principles of 
the Science of Nature. 

I. 2. 

Axioms of Intuition. Anticipations of Perception. 

3- 4- 

Analogies of Experience. Postulates of Empirical Thinking 



210. In order to comprise the whole matter in 
one idea, it is first necessary to remind the reader 
that we are discussing not the origin of experience, 
but of that which lies in experience. The former per 
tains to empirical psychology, and would even then 
never be adequately explained without the latter, 
which belongs to the Critique of cognition, and par 
ticularly of the understanding. 

Experience consists of intuitions, which belong to 
the sensibility, and of judgments, which are entirely 
a work of the understanding. But the judgments, 
which the understanding forms alone from sensuous 
intuitions, are far from being judgments of experience. 
For in the one case the judgment connects only the 
perceptions as they are given in the sensuous intui 
tion, while in the other the judgments must express 
what experience in general, and not what the mere 
perception (which possesses only subjective validity) 
contains. The judgment of experience must therefore 
add to the sensuous intuition and its logical connex 
ion in a judgment (after it has been rendered univer 
sal by comparison) something that determines the 
synthetical judgment as necessary and therefore as 
universally valid. This can be nothing else than that 
concept which represents the intuition as determined 
in itself with regard to one form of judgment rather 
than another, viz., a concept of that synthetical unity 
of intuitions which can only be represented by a given 
logical function of judgments. 

22. The sum of the matter is this: the business 
of the senses is to intuite that of the understanding 
is to think. But thinking is uniting representations 
in one consciousness. This union originates either 
merely relative to the subject, and is accidental and 

V* >) 

^ ^* 

subjective, or is absolute, and is necessary or objec 
tive. Jhe__iinioii of representations in one conscious 
ness is judgment. Thinking therefore isTrie same as 
judging, or referring representations to judgments in 
general. Hence judgments are either merely subjec 
tive, when representations are referred to a conscious 
ness in one subject only, and united in it, or objec 
tive, when they are united in a consciousness gener 
ally, that is, necessarily. The logical functions of all 
judgments are but various modes of uniting represen 
tations in consciousness. But if they serve for con 
cepts, they are concepts of their necessary union in a 
consciousness, and so principles of objectively valid 
judgments. This union in a consciousness is either 
analytical, by identity, or synthetical, by the combi 
nation and addition of various representations one to 
another. Experience consists in the synthetical con 
nexion of phenomena (perceptions) in consciousness, 
so far as this connexion is necessary. Hence the pure 
concepts of the understanding are those under which 
all perceptions must be subsumed ere they can serve 
for judgments of experience, in which the synthetical 
unity of the perceptions is represented as necessary 
and universally valid. 1 

1 But how does this proposition, "that judgments of experience contain 
necessity in the synthesis of perceptions," agree with my statement so often 
before inculcated, that "experience as cognition a posteriori can afford con 
tingent judgments only ?" When I say that experience teaches me some 
thing, I mean only the perception that lies in experience, for example, that 
heat always follows the shining of the sun on a stone; consequently the 
proposition of experience is always so far accidental. That this heat neces 
sarily follows the shining of the sun is contained indeed in the judgment of 
experience ;by means of the concept of cause), yet is a fact not learned by 
experience; for conversely, experience is first of all generated by this addi 
tion of the concept of the understanding (of cause) to perception. How per 
ception attains this addition may be seen by referring in the Critique itself 
to the section on the Transcendental faculty of Judgment [viz., in the first 
edition, Von dein Schematismus der reinen Vcrttandsbegriffe\, 


23. Judgments, when considered merely as the 
condition of the union of given representations in a 
consciousness, are rules. These rules, so far as they 
represent the union as necessary, are rules a priori, 
and so far as they cannot be deduced from higher 
rules, are fundamental principles. But in regard to 
the possibility of all experience, merely in relation to 
the form of thinking in it, no conditions of judgments 
of experience are higher than those which bring the 
phenomena, according to the various form of their 
intuition, under pure concepts of the understanding, 
and render the empirical judgment objectively valid. 
These concepts are therefore the a priori principles 
of possible experience. 

The principles of possible experience are then at 
the same time universal laws of nature, which can be 
cognised a priori. And thus the problem in our sec 
ond question, "How is the pure Science of Nature 
possible?" is solved. For the system which is re 
quired for the form of a science is to be met with in 
perfection here, because, beyond the above-mentioned 
formal conditions of all judgments in general offered 
in logic, no others are possible, and these constitute 
a logical system. The concepts grounded thereupon, 
which contain the a priori conditions of all synthetical 
and necessary judgments, accordingly constitute a 
transcendental system. Finally the principles, by 
means of which all phenomena are subsumed under 
these concepts, constitute a physical 1 system, that is, 
a system of nature, which precedes all empirical cog 
nition of nature, makes it even possible, and hence 

l[Kant uses the term physiological in its etymological meaning as "per 
taining to the science of physics," i. e., nature in general, not as we use the 
term now as " pertaining to the functions of the living body." Accordingly 
it has been translated " physical." Ed.\ 


may in strictness be denominated the universal and 
pure science of nature. 

24. The first one 1 of the physiological principles 
subsumes all phenomena, as intuitions in space and 
time, under the concept of Quantity, and is so far a 
principle of the application of Mathematics to experi 
ence. The second one subsumes the empirical ele 
ment, viz., sensation, which denotes the real in intui 
tions, not indeed directly under the concept of quan 
tity, because sensation is not an intuition that contains 
either space or time, though it places the respective 
object into both. But still there is between reality 
(sense-representation) and the zero, or total void of 
intuition in time, a difference which has a quantity. 
For between every given degree of light and of dark 
ness, between every degree of heat and of absolute 
cold, between every degree of weight and of absolute 
lightness, betw ? een every degree of occupied space 
and of totally void space, diminishing degrees can be 
conceived, in the same manner as between conscious 
ness and total unconsciousness (the darkness of a 
psychological blank) ever diminishing degrees obtain. 
Hence there is no perception that can prove an abso 
lute absence of it ; for instance, no psychological 
darkness that cannot be considered as a kind of con 
sciousness, which is only outbalanced by a stronger 
consciousness. This occurs in all cases of sensation, 
and so the understanding can anticipate even sensa 
tions, which constitute the peculiar quality of empiri 
cal representations (appearances), by means of the 
principle: "that they all have (consequently that 

IThe three following paragraphs will hardly be understood unless refer 
ence be made to what the Critique itself says on the subject of the Principles; 
they will, however, be of service in giving a general view of the Principles, 
arid in fixing the attention on the main points. 


what is real in all phenomena has) a degree." Here 
is the second application of mathematics (niathesis in- 
tensorum} to the science of nature. 

25. Anent the relation of appearances merely 
with a view to their existence, the determination is 
not mathematical but dynamical, and can never be 
objectively valid, consequently never fit for experi 
ence, if it does not come under a priori principles by 
which the cognition of experience relative to appear 
ances becomes even possible. Hence appearances 
must be subsumed under the concept of Substance, 
which is the foundation of all determination of exist 
ence, as a concept of the thing itself; or secondly 
so far as a succession is found among phenomena, 
that is, an event under the concept of an Effect 
with reference to Cause ; or lastly so far as coexist 
ence is to be known objectively, that is, by a judg 
ment of experience under the concept of Commun 
ity (action and reaction). 1 Thus a priori principles 
form the basis of objectively valid, though empirical 
judgments, that is, of the possibility of experience so 
far as it must connect objects as existing in nature. 
These principles are the proper laws of nature, which 
may be termed dynamical. 

Finally the cognition of the agreement and con 
nexion not only of appearances among themselves in 
experience, but of their relation to experience in gen 
eral, belongs to the judgments of experience. This 
relation contains either their agreement with the for 
mal conditions, which the understanding cognises, or 
their coherence with the materials of the senses and 
of perception, or combines both into one concept. 
Consequently it contains Possibility, Actuality, and 

1 [Kant uses here the equivocal term Wechseliuirkung.Ed.} 


Necessity according to universal laws of nature ; and 
this constitutes the physical doctrine of method, or 
the distinction of truth and of hypotheses, and the 
bounds of the certainty of the latter. 

26. The third table of Principles drawn from the 
nature of the understanding itself after the critical 
method, shows an inherent perfection, which raises it 
far above every other table which has hitherto though 
in vain been tried or may yet be tried by analysing 
the objects themselves dogmatically. It exhibits all 
synthetical a priori principles completely and accord 
ing to one principle, viz., the faculty of judging in 
general, constituting the essence of experience as re 
gards the understanding, so that we can be certain 
that there are no more such principles, which affords 
a satisfaction such as can never be attained by the 
dogmatical method. Yet is this not all : there is a 
still greater merit in it. 

We must carefully bear in mind the proof which 
shows the possibility of this cognition a priori, and at 
the same time limits all such principles to a condition 
which must never be lost sight of, if we desire it not 
to be misunderstood, and extended in use beyond the 
original sense which the understanding attaches to it. 
This limit is that they contain nothing but the condi 
tions of possible experience in general so far as it is 
subjected to laws a priori. Consequently I do not 
say, that things in themselves possess a quantity, that 
their actuality possesses a degree, their existence a 
connexion of accidents in a substance, etc. This no 
body can prove, because such a synthetical connexion 
from mere concepts, without any reference to sensu 
ous intuition on the one side, or connexion of it in a 
possible experience on the other, is absolutely impos- 


sible. The essential limitation of the concepts in 
these principles then is : That all things stand neces 
sarily a priori under the afore-mentioned conditions, 
c.s objects of experience only. 

Hence there follows secondly a specifically pecu 
liar mode of proof of these principles : they are not 
directly referred to appearances and to their relations, 
but to the possibility of experience, of which appear 
ances constitute the matter only, not the form. Thus 
they are referred to objectively and universally valid 
synthetical propositions, in which we distinguish 
judgments of experience from those of perception. 
This takes place because appearances, as mere intui 
tions, occupying a part of space and time, come un 
der the concept of Quantity, which unites their multi 
plicity a priori according to rules synthetically. Again, 
so far as the perception contains, besides intuition, 
sensibility, and between the latter and nothing (i. e., 
the total disappearance of sensibility), there is an 
ever decreasing transition, it is apparent that that 
which is in appearances must have a degree, so far 
as it (viz., the perception) does not itself occupy 
any part of space or of time. 1 Still the transition to 
actuality from empty time or empty space is only 
possible in time; consequently though sensibility, as 

IHeat and light are in a small space just as large as to degree as in a 
large one ; in like manner the internal representations, pain, consciousness 
in general, whether they last a short or a long time, need not vary as to the 
degree. Hence the quantity is here in a point and in a moment just as great 
as in any space or time however great. Degrees are therefore capable of in 
crease, but not in intuition, rather in mere sensation (or the quantity of the 
degree of an intuition). Hence they can only be estimated quantitatively by 
the relation of i to o, viz., by their capability of decreasing by infinite inter 
mediate degrees to disappearance, or of increasing from naught through in 
finite gradations to a determinate sensation in a certain time. Quantitas 
qualitatis est gradus [i. e., the degrees of quality must be measured Ly 


the quality of empirical intuition, can never be cog 
nised a priori, by its specific difference from other 
sensibilities, yet it can, in a possible experience in 
general, as a quantity of perception be intensely dis 
tinguished from every other similar perception. Hence 
the application of mathematics to nature, as regards 
the sensuous intuition by which nature is given to us, 
becomes possible and is thus determined. 

Above all, the reader must pay attention to the 
mode of proof of the principles which occur under 
the title of Analogies of experience. For these do 
not refer to the genesis of intuitions, as do the prin 
ciples of applied mathematics, but to the connexion 
of their existence in experience ; and this can be 
nothing but the determination of their existence in 
time according to necessary laws, under which alone 
the connexion is objectively valid, and thus becomes 
experience. The proof therefore does not turn on 
the synthetical unity in the connexion of things in 
themselves, but merely of perceptions, and of these 
not in regard to their matter, but to the determination 
of time and of the relation of their existence in it, ac 
cording to universal laws. If the empirical determi 
nation in relative time is indeed objectively valid (i. e., 
experience), these universal laws contain the neces 
sary determination of existence in time generally (viz., 
according to a rule of the understanding a priori}. 

In these Prolegomena I cannot further descant on 
the subject, but my reader (who has probably been 
long accustomed to consider experience a mere em 
pirical synthesis of perceptions, and hence not con 
sidered that it goes much beyond them, as it imparts 
to empirical judgments universal validity, and for 
that purpose requires a pure and a priori unity of the 


understanding) is recommended to pay special atten 
tion to this distinction of experience from a mere ag 
gregate of perceptions, and to judge the mode of proof 
from this point of view. 

27. Now we are prepared to remove Hume s 
doubt. He justly maintains, that we cannot compre 
hend by reason the possibility of Causality, that is, of 
the reference of the existence of one thing to the ex 
istence of another, which is necessitated by the for 
mer. I add, that we comprehend just as little the 
concept of Subsistence, that is, the necessity that at 
the foundation of the existence of things there lies a 
subject which cannot itself be a predicate of any other 
thing ; nay, we cannot even form a notion of the pos 
sibility of such a thing (though we can point out ex 
amples of its use in experience). The very same in 
comprehensibility affects the Community of things, as 
we cannot comprehend how from the state of one 
thing an inference to the state of quite another thing 
beyond it, and vice versa, can be drawn, and how sub 
stances which have each their own separate existence 
should depend upon one another necessarily. But I 
am very far from holding these concepts to be derived 
merely from experience, and the necessity represented 
in them, to be imaginary and a mere illusion produced 
in us by long habit. On the contrary, I have amply 
shown, that they and the theorems derived from them 
are firmly established a priori, or before all experience, 
and have their undoubted objective value, though 
only with regard to experience. 

28. Though I have no notion of such a connex 
ion of things in themselves, that they can either exist 
as substances, or act as causes, or stand in commun 
ity with others (;ts parts of a real whole), and I can 


just as little conceive such properties in appearances 
as such (because those concepts contain nothing that 
lies in the appearances, but only what the under 
standing alone must think): we have yet a notion of 
such a connexion of representations in our under 
standing, and in judgments generally; consisting in 
this that representations appear in one sort of judg 
ments as subject in relation to predicates, in another 
as reason in relation to consequences, and in a third 
as parts, which constitute together a total possible 1 
cognition. Besides we cognise a priori that without 
considering the representation of an object as deter 
mined in some of these respects, we can have no valid 
cognition of the object, and, if we should occupy our 
selves about the object in itself, there is no possible 
attribute, by which I could know that it is determined 
under any of these aspects, that is, under the concept 
either of substance, or of cause, or (in relation to 
other substances) of community, for I have no notion 
of the possibility of such a connexion of existence. 
But the question is not how things in themselves, but 
how the empirical cognition of things is determined, 
as regards the above aspects of judgments in general, 
that is, how things, as objects of experience, can and 
shall be subsumed under these concepts of the under 
standing. And then it is clear, that I completely com 
prehend not only the possibility, but also the neces 
sity of subsuming all phenomena under these concepts, 
that is, of using them for principles of the possibility 
of experience. 

29. When making an experiment with Hume s 
problematical concept (his crux metaphysicoruni}, the 
concept of cause, we have, in the first place, given 
a priori, by means of logic, the form of a conditional 

. i. 

judgment in general, i. e., we have one given cogni 
tion as antecedent and another as consequence. But 
it is possible, that in perception we may meet with a 
rule of relation, which runs thus : that a certain phe 
nomenon is constantly followed by another (though 
not conversely), and this is a case for me to use the 
hypothetical judgment, and, for instance, to say, if 
the sun shines long enough upon a body, it grows 
warm. Here there is indeed as yet no necessity of 
connexion, or concept of cause. But I proceed and 
say, that if this proposition, which is merely a subjec 
tive connexion of perceptions, is to be a judgment of 
experience, it must be considered as necessary and 
universally valid. Such a proposition would be, "the 
sun is by its light the cause of heat." The empirical 
rule is now considered as a law, and as valid not 
merely of appearances but valid of them for the pur 
poses of a possible experience which requires univer 
sal and therefore necessarily valid rules. I therefore 
easily comprehend the concept of cause, as a concept 
necessarily belonging to the mere form of experience, 
and its possibility as a synthetical union of percep 
tions in consciousness generally; but I do not at all 
comprehend the possibility of a thing generally as a 
cause, because the concept of cause denotes a condi 
tion not at all belonging to things, but to experience. 
It is nothing in fact but an objectively valid cognition 
of appearances and of their succession, so far as the 
antecedent can be conjoined with the consequent ac 
cording to the rule of hypothetical judgments. 

30. Hence if the pure concepts of the under 
standing do not refer to objects of experience but to 
things in themselves (noumena), they have no signifi 
cation whatever. They serve, as it were, only to de- 


cipher appearances, that we may be able to read them 
as experience. The principles which arise from their 
reference to the sensible \vorld, only serve our under 
standing for empirical use. Beyond this they are 
arbitrary combinations, without objective reality, and 
we can neither cognise their possibility a priori, nor 
verify their reference to objects, let alone make it in 
telligible by any example ; because examples can only 
be borrowed from some possible experience, conse 
quently the objects of these concepts can be found 
nowhere but in a possible experience. 

This complete (though to its originator unex 
pected) solution of Hume s problem rescues for the 
pure concepts of the understanding their a priori ori 
gin, and for the universal laws of nature their valid 
ity, as laws of the understanding, yet in such a way as 
to limit their use to experience, because their possi 
bility depends solely on the reference of the under 
standing to experience, but with a completely re 
versed mode of connexion which never occurred to 
Hume, not by deriving them from experience, but by 
deriving experience from them. 

This is therefore the result of all our foregoing in 
quiries : " All synthetical principles a priori are noth 
ing more than principles of possible experience, and 
can never be referred to things in themselves, but to 
appearances as objects of experience. And hence 
pure mathematics as well as a pure science of nature 
can never be referred to anything more than mere 
appearances, and can only represent either that which 
makes experience generally possible, or else that 
which, as it is derived from these principles, must 
always be capable of being represented in some pos 
sible experience." 


31. And thus we have at last something definite, 
upon which to depend in all metaphysical enterprises, 
which have hitherto, boldly enough but always at 
random, attempted everything without discrimination. 
That the aim of their exertions should be so near, 
struck neither the dogmatical thinkers nor those who, 
confident in their supposed sound common sense, 
started with concepts and principles of pure reason 
(which were legitimate and natural, but destined for 
mere empirical use) in quest of fields of knowledge, 
to which they neither knew nor could know any de 
terminate bounds, because they had never reflected 
nor were able to reflect on the nature or even on the 
possibility of such a pure understanding. 

Many a naturalist of pure reason (by which I mean 
the man who believes he can decide in matters of 
metaphysics without any science) may pretend, that 
he long ago by the prophetic spirit of his sound sense, 
not only suspected, but knew and comprehended, 
what is here propounded with so much ado, or, if he 
likes, with prolix and pedantic pomp: "that with all 
our reason we can never reach beyond the field of ex 
perience." But when he is questioned about his ra 
tional principles individually, he must grant, that 
there are many of them which he has not taken from 
experience, and which are therefore independent of it 
and valid a priori. How then and on what grounds 
will he restrain both himself and the dogmatist, who 
makes use of these concepts and principles beyond 
all possible experience, because they are recognised 
to be independent of it? And even he, this adept in 
sound sense, in spite of all his assumed and cheaply 
acquired wisdom, is not exempt from wandering in 
advertently beyond objects of experience into the field 


of chimeras. He is often deeply enough involved in 
them, though in announcing everything as mere prob 
ability, rational conjecture, or analogy, he gives by 
his popular language a color to his groundless pre 

32. Since the oldest days of philosophy inquirers 
into pure reason have conceived, besides the things 
of sense, or appearances (phenomena), which make 
up the sensible world, certain creations of the under 
standing (Verstandeswescn)) called noumena, which 
should constitute an intelligible world. And as ap 
pearance and illusion were by those men identified (a 
thing which we may well excuse in an undeveloped 
epoch), actuality was only conceded to the creations 
of thought. 

And we indeed, rightly considering objects of sense 
as mere appearances, confess thereby that they are 
based upon a thing in itself, though we know not this 
thing in its internal constitution, but only know its 
appearances, viz., the way in which our senses are 
affected by this unknown something. The under 
standing therefore, by assuming appearances, grants 
the existence of things in themselves also, and so far 
we may say, that the representation of such things as 
form the basis of phenomena, consequently of mere 
creations of the understanding, is not only admissible, 
but unavoidable. 

Our critical deduction by no means excludes things 
of that sort (noumena), but rather limits the prin 
ciples of the Aesthetic (the science of the sensibility) 
to this, that they shall not extend to all things, as 
everything would then be turned into mere appear 
ance, but that they shall only hold good of objects of 
possible experience. Hereby then objects of the un- 


derstanding are granted, but with the inculcation of 
this rule which admits of no exception: "that we 
neither know nor can know anything at all definite of 
these pure objects of the understanding, because our 
pure concepts of the understanding as well as our 
pure intuitions extend to nothing but objects of pos 
sible experience, consequently to mere things of sense, 
and as soon as we leave this sphere these concepts 
retain no meaning whatever." 

33. There is indeed something seductive in our 
pure concepts of the understanding, which tempts us 
to a transcendent use, a use which transcends all 
possible experience. Not only are our concepts of 
substance, of power, of action, of reality, and others, 
quite independent of experience, containing nothing 
of sense appearance, and so apparently applicable to 
things in themselves (noumena), but, what strength 
ens this conjecture, they contain a necessity of deter 
mination in themselves, which experience never at 
tains. The concept of cause implies a rule, according 
to which one state follows another necessarily ; but 
experience can only show us, that one state of things 
often, or at most, commonly, follows another, and 
therefore affords neither strict universality, nor neces 

Hence the Categories seem to have a deeper 
meaning and import than can be exhausted by their 
empirical use, and so the understanding inadvertently 
adds for itself to the house of experience a much 
more extensive wing, which it fills with nothing but 
creatures of thought, without ever observing that it 
has transgressed with its otherwise lawful concepts 
the bounds of their use. 

34. Two important, and even indispensable; 


though very dry, investigations had therefore become 
indispensable in the Critique of Pure Reason, viz., 
the two chapters "Vom Schematismus der reinen 
Verstandsbegriffe," and "Vom Grunde der Unter- 
scheidung aller Verstandesbegriffe iiberhaupt in Pha- 
nomena und Noumena." In the former it is shown, 
that the senses furnish not the pure concepts of the 
understanding in concrete, but only the schedule for 
their use, and that the object conformable to it occurs 
only in experience (as the product of the understand 
ing from materials of the sensibility). In the latter it 
is shown, that, although our pure concepts of the 
understanding and our principles are independent of 
experience, and despite of the apparently greater 
sphere of their use, still nothing whatever can be 
thought by them beyond the field of experience, be 
cause they can do nothing but merely determine the 
logical form of the judgment relatively to given intui 
tions. But as there is no intuition at all beyond the 
field of the sensibility, these pure concepts, as they 
cannot possibly be exhibited in eoncreto, are void of 
all meaning; consequently all these noumena, to 
gether with their complex, the intelligible world, 1 are 
nothing but representation of a problem, of which the 
object in itself is possible, but the solution, from the 
nature of our understanding, totally impossible. For 
our understanding is not a faculty of intuition, but of 

1 We speak of the " intelligible world," not (as the usual expression is) 
"intellectual world." For cognitions are intellectual through the under 
standing, and refer to our world of sense also; but objects, so far as they 
can be represented merely by the understanding, and to which none of our 
sensible intuitions can refer, are termed intelligible." But as some pos- 
si ole intuition must correspond to every object, we would have to assume an 
understanding that intuites things immediately; but of such we have not the 
least notion, nor have we of the things of the understanding [Verstandes- 
v/eseiij, to which it should be applied. 


the connexion of given intuitions in experience. Ex 
perience must therefore contain all the objects for our 
concepts ; but beyond it no concepts have any signifi 
cance, as there is no intuition that might offer them a 

35. The imagination may perhaps be forgiven 
for occasional vagaries, and for not keeping carefully 
within the limits of experience, since it gains life and 
vigor by such flights, and since it is always easier to 
moderate its boldness, than to stimulate its languor. 
But the understanding which ought to think can never 
be forgiven for indulging in vagaries; for we depend 
upon it alone for assistance to set bounds, when nec 
essary, to the vagaries of the imagination. 

But the understanding begins its aberrations very 
innocently and modestly. It first elucidates the ele 
mentary cognitions, which inhere in it prior to all ex 
perience, but yet must always have their application 
in experience. It gradually drops these limits, and 
what is there to prevent it, as it has quite freely de 
rived its principles from itself? And then it proceeds 
first to newly-imagined powers in nature, then to be 
ings outside nature; in short to a world, for whose 
construction the materials cannot be wanting, because 
fertile fiction furnishes them abundantly, and though 
not confirmed, is never refuted, by experience. This 
is the reason that young thinkers are so partial to 
metaphysics of the truly dogmatical kind, and often 
sacrifice to it their time and their talents, which might 
be otherwise better employed. 

But there is no use in trying to moderate these 
fruitless endeavors of pure reason by all manner of 
cautions as to the difficulties of solving questions so 
occult, by complaints of the limits of our reason, and 


by degrading our assertions into mere conjectures. 
For if their impossibility is not distinctly shown, and 
reason s cognition of its own essence does not become 
a true science, in which the field of its right use is 
distinguished, so to say, with mathematical certainty 
from that of its worthless and idle use, these fruitless 
efforts will never be abandoned for good. 

36. How is Nature itself possible? 

This question the highest point that transcenden 
tal philosophy can ever reach, and to which, as its 
boundary and completion, it must proceed properly 
contains two questions. 

FIRST: How is nature at all possible in the mate 
rial sense, by intuition, considered as the totality of 
appearances ; how are space, time, and that which 
fills both the object of sensation, in general possible? 
The answer is : By means of the constitution of our 
Sensibility, according to which it is specifically affected 
by objects, which are in themselves unknown to it, 
and totally distinct from those phenomena. This an 
swer is given in the Critique itself in the transcenden 
tal Aesthetic, and in these Prolegomena by the solution 
of the first general problem. 

SECONDLY : How is nature possible in the formal 
sense, as the totality of the rules, under which all 
phenomena must come, in order to be thought as 
connected in experience? The answer must be this : 
It is only possible by means of the constitution of our 
Understanding, according to which all the above rep 
resentations of the sensibility are necessarily referred 
to a consciousness, and by which the peculiar way in 
which we think (viz , by rules), and hence experience 
also, are possible, but must be clearly distinguished 


from an insight into the objects in themselves. This 
answer is given in the Critique itself in the transcen 
dental Logic, and in these Prolegomena, in the course 
of the solution of the second main problem. 

But how this peculiar property of our sensibility 
itself is possible, or that of our understanding and of 
the apperception which is necessarily its basis and 
that of all thinking, cannot be further analysed or an 
swered, because it is of them that we are in need for 
all our answers and for all our thinking about objects. 

There are many laws of nature, which we can only 
know by means of experience ; but conformity to law 
in the connexion of appearances, i. e., in nature in 
general, we cannot discover by any experience, be 
cause experience itself requires laws which are a priori 
at the basis of its possibility. 

The possibility of experience in general is there 
fore at the same time the universal law of nature, and 
the principles of the experience are the very laws of 
nature. For we do not know nature but as the total 
ity of appearances, i. e., of representations in us, and 
hence we can only derive the laws of its connexion 
from the principles of their connexion in us, that is, 
from the conditions of their necessary union in con 
sciousness, which constitutes the possibility of expe 

Even the main proposition expounded throughout 
this section that universal laws of nature can be dis 
tinctly cognised a priori leads naturally to the prop 
osition : that the highest legislation of nature must 
lie in ourselves, i. e., in our understanding, and that 
we must not seek the universal laws of nature in na 
ture by means of experience, but conversely must seek 
nature, as to Its universal conformity to law, in the 


conditions of the possibility of experience, which lie 
in our sensibility and in onr understanding. For how 
were it otherwise possible to know a priori these laws, 
as they are not rules of analytical cognition, but truly 
synthetical extensions of it? 

Such a necessary agreement of the principles of 
possible experience with the laws of the possibility of 
nature, can only proceed from one of two reasons : 
either these laws are drawn from nature by means of 
experience, or conversely nature is derived from the 
laws of the possibility of experience in general, and 
is quite the same as the mere universal conformity 
to law of the latter. The former is self-contradic 
tory, for the universal laws of nature can and must be 
cognised a priori (that is, independent of all experi 
ence), and be the foundation of all empirical use of 
the understanding; the latter alternative therefore 
alone remains. 1 

But we must distinguish the empirical laws of na 
ture, which always presuppose particular perceptions, 
from the pure or universal laws of nature, which, 
without being based on particular perceptions, con 
tain merely the conditions of their necessary union 
in experience. In relation to the latter, nature and 
possible experience are quite the same, and as the 
conformity to law here depends upon the necessary 
connexion of appearances in experience (without 
which we cannot cognise any object whatever in the 
sensible world), consequently upon the original laws 

1 Crusius alone thought of a compromise : that a Spirit, who can neither 
err nor deceive, implanted these laws in us originally. But since false prin 
ciples often intrude themselves, as indeed the very system of this man shows 
in not a few examples, we are involved in difficulties as to the use of such a 
principle in the absence of sure criteria to distinguish the genuine origin 
from the spurious, as vye never can know certainly what the Spirit of truth 
or the father of lies may have instilled into us. 


of the understanding, it seems at first strange, but is 
not the less certain, to say: 

The understanding does not derive its laws (a priori} 
from, but prescribes them to, nature. 

37- We shall illustrate this seemingly bold prop 
osition by an example, which will show, that laws, 
which we discover in objects of sensuous intuition 
(especially when these laws are cognised as neces 
sary), are commonly held by us to be such as have 
been placed there by the understanding, in spite of 
their being similar in all points to the laws of nature, 
which we ascribe to experience. 

38. If we consider the properties of the circle, 
by which this figure combines so many arbitrary de 
terminations of space in itself, at once in a universal 
rule, we cannot avoid attributing a constitution (eine 
Natur} to this geometrical thing. Two right lines, 
for example, which intersect one another and the 
circle, howsoever they may be drawn, are always di 
vided so that the rectangle constructed with the seg 
ments of the one is equal to that constructed with the 
segments of the other. The question now is : Does 
this law lie in the circle or in the understanding, that 
is, Does this figure, independently of the understand 
ing, contain in itself the ground of the law, or does 
the understanding, having constructed according to 
its concepts (according to the quality of the radii) the 
figure itself, introduce into it this law of the chords 
cutting one another in geometrical proportion? When 
we follow the proofs of this law, we soon perceive, 
that it can only be derived from the condition on 
which the understanding founds the construction of 
this figure, and which is that of the equality of the 
radii. But, if we enlarge this concept, to pursue fur- 


ther the unity of various properties of geometrical 
figures under common laws, and consider the circle 
as a conic section, which of course is subject to the 
same fundamental conditions of construction as other 
conic sections, we shall find that all the chords which 
intersect within the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola, 
always intersect so that the rectangles of their seg 
ments are not indeed equal, but always bear a con 
stant ratio to one another. If we proceed still farther, 
to the fundamental laws of physical astronomy, we 
find a physical law of reciprocal attraction diffused 
over all material nature, the rule of which is: "that it 
decreases inversely as the square of the distance from 
each attracting point, i. e. , as the spherical surfaces 
increase, over which this force spreads," which law 
seems to be necessarily inherent in the very nature of 
things, and hence is usually propounded as cognis 
able a priori. Simple as the sources of this law are, 
merely resting upon the relation of spherical surfaces 
of different radii, its consequences are so valuable 
with regard to the variety of their agreement and its 
regularity, that not only are all possible orbits of the 
celestial bodies conic sections, but such a relation of 
these orbits to each other results, that no other law 
of attraction, than that of the inverse square of the 
distance, can be imagined as fit for a cosmical system. 

Here accordingly is a nature that rests upon laws 
which the understanding cognises a priori, and chiefly 
from the universal principles of the determination of 
space. Now I ask : 

Do the laws of nature lie in space, and does the 
understanding learn them by merely endeavoring to 
find out the enormous wealth of meaning that lies in 
space ; or do they inhere in the understanding and in 


the way in which it determines space according to the 
conditions of the synthetical unity in which its con 
cepts are all centred? 

Space is something so uniform and as to all par 
ticular properties so indeterminate, that we should 
certainly not seek a store of laws of nature in it. 
Whereas that which determines space to assume the 
form of a circle or the figures of a cone and a sphere, 
is the understanding, so far as it contains the ground 
of the unity of their constructions. 

The mere universal form of intuition, called space, 
must therefore be the substratum of all intuitions de- 
terminable to particular objects, and in it of course 
the condition of the possibility and of the variety of 
these intuitions lies. But the unity of the objects is 
entirely determined by the understanding, and on 
conditions which lie in its own nature ; and thus the 
understanding is the origin of the universal order of 
nature, in that it comprehends all appearances under 
its own laws, and thereby first constructs, a priori, 
experience (as to its form), by means of which what 
ever is to be cognised only by experience, is necessa 
rily subjected to its laws. For we are not now con 
cerned with the nature of things in themselves, which 
is independent of the conditions both of our sensi 
bility and our understanding, but with nature, as an 
object of possible experience, and in this case the 
understanding, whilst it makes experience possible, 
thereby insists that the sensuous world is either not 
an object of experience at all, or must be nature [viz., 
an existence of things, determined according to uni 
versal laws 1 ]. 

IThe definition of nature is given in the beginning of the Second Part of 
the " Transcendental Pioblenj," in 14. 



39- Of the System of the Categories, 

There can be nothing more desirable to a philos 
opher, than to be able to derive the scattered multi 
plicity of the concepts or the principles, which had 
occurred to him in concrete use, from a principle 
a priori, and to unite everything in this way in one 
cognition. He formerly only believed that those 
things, which remained after a certain abstraction, 
and seemed by comparison among one another to 
constitute a particular kind of cognitions, were com 
pletely collected ; but this was only an Aggregate. 
Now he knows, that just so many, neither more nor 
less, can constitute the mode of cognition, and per 
ceives the necessity of his division, which constitutes 
comprehension; and now only he has attained a 

To search in our daily cognition for the concepts, 
which do not rest upon particular experience, and yet 
occur in all cognition of experience, where they as it 
were constitute the mere form of connexion, presup 
poses neither greater reflexion nor deeper insight, 
than to detect in a language the rules of the actual 
use of words generally, and thus to collect elements 
for a grammar. In fact both researches are very 
nearly related, even though we are not able to give a 
reason why each language has just this and no other 
formal constitution, and still less why an exact number 
of such formal determinations in general are found 
in it. 


Aristotle collected ten pure elementary concepts 
under the name of Categories. 1 To these, which are 
also called predicaments, he found himself obliged 
afterwards to add five post-predicaments, 2 some of 
which however (prius, simul, and motus} are contained 
in the former; but this random collection must be 
considered (and commended) as a mere hint for future 
inquirers, not as a regularly developed idea, and hence 
it has, in the present more advanced state of philoso 
phy, been rejected as quite useless. 

After long reflexion on the pure elements of human 
knowledge (those which contain nothing empirical), I 
at last succeeded in distinguishing with certainty and 
in separating the pure elementary notions of the Sen 
sibility (space and time) from those of the Under 
standing. Thus the yth, 8th, and Qth Categories had 
to be excluded from the old list. And the others were 
of no service to me ; because there was no principle 
[in them], on which the understanding could be inves 
tigated, measured in its completion, and all the func 
tions, whence its pure concepts arise, determined ex 
haustively and with precision. 

But in order to discover such a principle, I looked 
about for an act of the understanding which comprises 
all the rest, and is distinguished only by various modi 
fications or phases, in reducing the multiplicity of 
representation to the unity of thinking in general : I 
found this act of the understanding to consist in judg 
ing. Here then the labors of the logicians were ready 
at hand, though not yet quite free from defects, and 
with this help I was enabled to exhibit a complete 

1 t Substantia. i. Qualitas. 3. Quantitas. 4. Relatio. 5. Actio. 6. Pastio. 
7. Quando. 8. Ubi. 9. Situs. 10. Habitus. 

lOppositum. Prz us. Szntul. Motus. Habere. 


table of the pure functions of the understanding, 
which are however undetermined in regard to any ob 
ject. I finally referred these functions of judging to 
objects in general, or rather to the condition of deter 
mining judgments as objectively valid, and so there 
arose the pure concepts of the understanding, con 
cerning which I could make certain, that these, and 
this exact number only, constitute our whole cogni 
tion of tilings from pure understanding. I was justi 
fied in calling them by their old name, Categories, 
while I reserved for myself the liberty of adding, un 
der the title of "Predicables, " a complete list of all 
the concepts deducible from them, by combinations 
whether among themselves, or with the pure form of 
the appearance, i. e., space or time, or with its mat 
ter, so far as it is not yet empirically determined (viz., 
the object of sensation in general), as soon as a sys 
tem of transcendental philosophy should be completed 
with the construction of which I am engaged in the 
Critique of Pure Reason itself. 

Now the essential point in this system of Catego 
ries, which distinguishes it from the old rhapsodical 
collection without any principle, and for which alone 
it deserves to be considered as philosophy, consists 
in this: that by means of it the true significance of 
the pure concepts of the understanding and the con 
dition of their use could be precisely determined. For 
here it became obvious that they are themselves noth 
ing but logical functions, and as such do not produce 
the least concept of an object, but require some sen 
suous intuition as a basis. They therefore only serve 
to determine empirical judgments, which are other 
wise undetermined and indifferent as regards all func 
tions of judging, relatively to these functions, thereby 


procuring them universal validity, and by means of 
them making judgments of experience in general pos 

Such an insight into the nature of the categories, 
which limits them at the same time to the mere use of 
experience, never occurred either to their first author, 
or to any of his successors; but without this insight 
(which immediately depends upon their derivation or 
deduction), they are quite useless and only a miser 
able list of names, without explanation or rule for 
their u-se. Had the ancients ever conceived such a 
notion, doubtless the whole study of the pure rational 
knowledge, which under the name of metaphysics has 
for centuries spoiled many a sound mind, would have 
reached us in quite another shape, and would have 
enlightened the human understanding, instead of 
actually exhausting it in obscure and vain specula 
tions, thereby rendering it unfit for true science. 

This system of categories makes all treatment of 
every object of pure reason itself systematic, and 
affords a direction or clue how and through what 
points of inquiry every metaphysical consideration 
must proceed, in order to be complete ; for it exhausts 
all the possible movements {momenta} of the under 
standing, among which every concept must be classed. 
In like manner the table of Principles has been formu 
lated, the completeness of which we can only vouch 
for by the system of the categories. Even in the divi 
sion of the concepts, 1 which must go beyond the phys 
ical application of the understanding, it is always the 
very same clue, which, as it must always be deter- 

1 See the two tables in the chapters Von den Paralogisnten der rei nen Ver- 
nunft and the first division of the Antinomy of Pure Reason, System der kos- 
mologischen Ideen. 


mined a priority the same fixed points of the human 
understanding, always forms a closed circle. There 
is no doubt that the object of a pure conception either 
of the understanding or of reason, so far as it is to be 
estimated philosophically and on a priori principles, 
can in this way be completely cognised. I could not 
therefore omit to make use of this clue with regard to 
one of the most abstract ontological divisions, viz., 
the various distinctions of "the notions of something 
and of nothing," and to construct accordingly (Cri 
tique t p. 207) a regular and necessary table of their 
divisions. 1 

And this system, like every other true one founded 
on a universal principle, shows its inestimable value 
in this, that it excludes all foreign concepts, which 
might otherwise intrude among the pure concepts of 
the understanding, and determines the place of every 
cognition. Those concepts, which under the name of 
"concepts of reflexion" have been likewise arranged 
in a table according to the clue of the categories, in 
trude, without having any privilege or title to be 

1 On the table of the categories many neat observations may be made, for 
instance : (i) that the third arises from the first and the second joined in one 
concept; (2) that in those of Quantity and of Quality there is merely a pro 
gress from unity to totality or from something to nothing (for this purpose 
the categories of Quality must stand thus : reality, limitation, total negation), 
without correlita or opposita, whereas those of Relation and of Mcdality have 
them ; (3) that, as in Logic categorical judgments are the basis of all others, 
so the category of Substance is the basis of all concepts of artual things; 
(4) that as Modality in the judgment is not a particular predicate, FO by the 
modal concepts a determination is not superadded to things, etc., etc Such 
observations are of great use. If we besides enumerate all the predicables, 
which we can find pretty completely in any good ontology (for example, 
Baumgarten s), and arrange them in classes under the categories, in which 
operation we must not neglect to add as complete a dissection of all these 
concepts as possible, there will then arise a merely analytical part of meta 
physics, which does not contain a single synthetical proposition, which 
might precede the second (the synthetical), and would by its precision and 
completeness be not only useful, but, in virtue of its system, be even to some 
extent elegant. 


among the pure concepts of the understanding in On 
tology. They are concepts of connexion, and thereby 
ol the objects themselves, whereas the former are only 
concepts of a mere comparison of concepts already 
given, hence of quite another nature and use. By 
my systematic division 1 they are saved from this con 
fusion. But the value of my special table of the cate 
gories will be still more obvious, when we separate the 
table of the transcendental concepts of Reason from 
the concepts of the understanding. The latter being 
of quite another nature and origin, they must have 
quite another form than the former. This so neces 
sary separation has never yet been made in any sys 
tem of metaphysics for, as a rule, these rational con 
cepts all mixed up with the categories, like children 
of one family, which confusion was unavoidable in the 
absence of a definite system of categories. 

1 See Critique of Pure Reason, Von der Amphibolic der Reflexbegriffe. 




PURE mathematics and pure science of nature had 
no occasion for such a deduction, as we have 
made of both, for their own safety and certainty. For 
the former rests upon its own evidence ; and the latter 
(though sprung from pure sources of the understand 
ing) upon experience and its thorough confirmation. 
Physics cannot altogether refuse and dispense with 
the testimony of the latter; because with all its cer 
tainty, it can never, as philosophy, rival mathemat 
ics. Both sciences therefore stood in need of this in 
quiry, not for themselves, but for the sake of another 
science, metaphysics. 

Metaphysics has to do not only with concepts of 
nature, which always find their application in experi 
ence, but also with pure rational concepts, which 
never can be given in any possible experience. Con 
sequently the objective reality of these concepts (viz., 
that they are not mere chimeras), and the truth or 
falsity of metaphysical assertions, cannot be discov 
ered or confirmed by any experience. This part of 
metaphysics however is precisely what constitutes its 
essential end, to which the rest is only a means, and 


thus this science is in need of such a deduction for its 
own sake. The third question now proposed relates 
therefore as it were to the root and essential difference 
of metaphysics, i. e., the occupation of Reason with 
itself, and the supposed knowledge of objects arising 
immediately from this incubation of its own concepts, 
without requiring, or indeed being able to reach that 
knowledge through, experience. 1 

Without solving this problem reason never is jus 
tified. The empirical use to which reason limits the 
pure understanding, does not fully satisfy the proper 
destination of the latter. Every single experience is 
only a part of the whole sphere of its domain, but the 
absolute totality of all possible experience is itself not 
experience. Yet it is a necessary [concrete] problem 
for reason, the mere representation of which requires 
concepts quite different from the categories, whose 
use is only immanent, or refers to experience, so far 
as it can be given. Whereas the concepts of reason 
aim at the completeness, i. e., the collective unity of 
all possible experience, and thereby transcend every 
given experience. Thus they become transcendent. 

As the understanding stands in need of categories 
for experience, reason contains in itself the source 
of ideas, by which I mean necessary concepts, whose 
object cannot be given in any experience. The latter 
are inherent in the nature of reason, as the former 
are in that of the understanding. While the former 
carry with them an illusion likely to mislead, the illu- 

1 If we say, that a science is actual at least in the idea of all men, as 
soon as it appears that the problems which lead to it are proposed to every 
body by the nature of human reason, and that therefore many (though faulty) 
endravors are unavoidably made in its behalf, then we are bound to ?ay thnt 
metaphysics is s-ihjeriively (a;:d indeed necessarily) actual, and therefore 
we justly ask, h^w is ii .^objectively) possible. 


sion of the latter is inevitable, though it certainly can 
be kept from misleading us. 

Since all illusion consists in holding the subjective 
ground of our judgments to be objective, a self- 
knowledge of pure reason in its transcendent (ex 
aggerated) use is the sole preservative from the aber 
rations into which reason falls when it mistakes its 
destination, and refers that to the object transcen- 
dently, which only regards its own subject and its 
guidance in all immanent use. 

41. The distinction of ideas, that is, of pure 
concepts of reason, from categories, or pure concepts 
of the understanding, as cognitions of a quite distinct 
species, origin and use, is so important a point in 
founding a science which is to contain the system of 
all these a priori cognitions, that without this distinc 
tion metaphysics is absolutely impossible, or is at 
best a random, bungling attempt to build a castle in 
the air without a knowledge of the materials or of 
their fitness for any purpose. Had the Critique of 
Pure Reason done nothing but first point out this dis 
tinction, it had thereby contributed more to clear up 
our conception of, and to guide our inquiry in, the 
field of metaphysics, than all the vain efforts which 
have hitherto been made to satisfy the transcendent 
problems of pure reason, without ever surmising that 
we were in quite another field than that of the under 
standing, and hence classing concepts of the under 
standing and those of reason together, as if they 
were of the same kind. 

42. All pure cognitions of the understanding 
have this feature, that their concepts present them 
selves in experience, and their principles can be con 
firmed by it ; whereas the transcendent cognitions of 


reason cannot, either as ideas, appear in experience, 
or as propositions ever be confirmed or refuted by it. 
Hence whatever errors may slip in unawares, can only 
be discovered by pure reason itself a discovery of 
much difficulty, because this very reason naturally 
becomes dialectical by means of its ideas, and this 
unavoidable illusion cannot be limited by any objec 
tive and dogmatical researches into things, but by a 
subjective investigation of reason itself as a source of 

43. In the Critique of Pure Reason it was always 
my greatest care to endeavor not only carefully to dis 
tinguish the several species of cognition, but to de 
rive concepts belonging to each one of them from 
their common source. I did this in order that by 
knowing whence they originated, I might determine 
their use with safety, and also have the unanticipated 
but invaluable advantage of knowing the completeness 
of my enumeration, classification and specification of 
concepts a priori, and therefore according to prin 
ciples. Without this, metaphysics is mere rhapsody, 
in which no one knows whether he has enough, or 
whether and where something is still wanting. We 
can indeed have this advantage only in pure philos 
ophy, but of this philosophy it constitutes the very 

As I had found the origin of the categories in the 
four logical functions of all the judgments of the un 
derstanding, it was quite natural to seek the origin of 
the ideas in the three functions of the syllogisms of 
reason. For as soon as these pure concepts of rea 
son (the transcendental ideas) are given, they could 
hardly, except they be held innate, be found anywhere 
else, than in the same activity of reason, which, so 


far as it regards mere form, constitutes the logical 
element cf the syllogisms of reason ; but, so far as it 
represents judgments of the understanding with re 
spect to the one or to the other form a priori, consti 
tutes transcendental concepts of pure reason. 

The formal distinction of syllogisms renders their 
division into categorical, hypothetical, and disjunc 
tive necessary. The concepts of reason founded on 
them contained therefore, r first, the idea of the com 
plete subject (the substantial); secondly, the idea of 
the complete series of conditions; thirdly, the deter 
mination of all concepts in the idea of a complete 
complex of that which is possible. 1 The first idea is 
psychological, the second cosmological, the third 
theological, and, as all three give occasion to Dialec 
tics, yet each in its own way, the division of the 
whole Dialects of pure reason into its Paralogism, its 
Antinomy, and its Ideal, was arranged accordingly. 
Through this deduction we may feel assured that all 
the claims of pure reason are completely represented, 
and that none can be wanting ; because the faculty of 
reason itself, whence they all take their origin, is 
thereby completely surveyed. 

44. In these general considerations it is also re 
markable that the ideas of reason are unlike the cate 
gories, of no service to the use of our understanding 

lln disjunctive judgments \ve consider all possibility as divided in re 
spect to a particular concept. By the ontological principle of the universal 
determination of a thing in general, I understand the principle that either 
the one or the other of all possible contradictory predicates must be assigned 
to any object. This is at the same time the principle of all disjunctive judg 
ments, constituting the foundation of our conception of possibility, and in it 
the possibility of every object in general is considered as determined. This 
may serve as a slight explanation of the above proposition : that the activity 
of reason in disjunctive syllogisms is formally the same as that by which it 
fashions the idea of a universal conception of all reality, containing in itself 
that which is positive in all contradictory predicates. 


in experience, but quite dispensable, and become even 
an impediment to the maxims of a rational cognition 
of nature. Yet in another aspect still to be determined 
they are necessary. Whether the soul is or is not a 
simple substance, is of no consequence to us in the 
explanation of its phenomena. For we cannot render 
the notion of a simple being intelligible by any pos 
sible experience that is sensuous or concrete. The 
notion is therefore quite void as regards all hoped-for 
insight into the cause of phenomena, and cannot at 
all serve as a principle of the explanation of that 
which internal or external experience supplies. So 
the cosmological ideas of the beginning of the world 
or of its eternity (a parte ante} cannot be of any greater 
service to us for the explanation of any event in the 
world itself. And finally we must, according to a 
right maxim of the philosophy of nature, refrain from 
all explanations of the design of nature, drawn from 
the will of a Supreme Being ; because this would not 
be natural philosophy, but an acknowledgment that 
we have come to the end of it. The use of these 
ideas, therefore, is quite different from that of those 
categories by which (and by the principles built upon 
which) experience itself first becomes possible. But 
our laborious analytics of the understanding would be 
superfluous if we had nothing else in view than the 
mere cognition of nature as it can be given in experi 
ence ; for reason does its work, both in mathematics 
and in the science of nature, quite safely and well 
without any of this subtle deduction. Therefore our 
Critique of the Understanding combines with the ideas 
of pure reason for a purpose which lies beyond the 
empirical use of the understanding ; but this we have 
above declared to be in this aspect totally inadmis- 


sible, and without any object or meaning. Yet there 
must be a harmony between that of the nature of rea 
son and that of the understanding, and the former 
must contribute to the perfection of the latter, and 
cannot possibly upset it. 

The solution of this question is as follows : Pure 
reason does not in its ideas point to particular ob 
jects, which lie beyond the field of experience, but 
only requires completeness of the use of the under 
standing in the system of experience. But this com 
pleteness can be a completeness of principles only, 
not of intuitions (i. e., concrete atsights or Anschau- 
ungen) and of objects. In order however to represent 
the ideas definitely, reason conceives them after the 
fashion of the cognition of an object. The cognition 
is as far as these rules are concerned completely de 
termined, but the object is only an idea invented for 
the purpose of bringing the cognition of the under 
standing as near as possible to the completeness rep 
resented by that idea. 

Prefatory Remark to the Dialectics of Pure Reason. 

45. We have above shown in 33 and 34 that 
the purity of the categories from all admixture of sen 
suous determinations may mislead reason into extend 
ing their use, quite beyond all experience, to things 
in themselves; though as these categories themselves 
find no intuition which can give them meaning or 
sense in concrete, they, as mere logical functions, can 
represent a thing in general, but not give by them 
selves alone a determinate concept of anything. Such 
hyperbolical objects are distinguised by the appella 
tion of Noumena, or pure beings of the understanding 
(or better, beings of thought), such as, for example, 


" substance, " but conceived without permanence in 
tune, or "cause/ 1 but not acting in time, etc. Here 
predicates, that only serve to make the conformity-to- 
law of experience possible, are applied to these con 
cepts, and yet they are deprived of all the conditions 
of intuition, on which alone experience is possible, 
and so these concepts lose all significance. 

There is no danger, however, of the understanding 
spontaneously making an excursion so very wantonly 
beyond its own bounds into the field of the mere crea 
tures of thought, without being impelled by foreign 
laws. But when reason, which cannot be fully satis 
fied with any empirical use of the rules of the under 
standing, as being always conditioned, requires a com 
pletion of this chain of conditions, then the under 
standing is forced out of its sphere. And then it partly 
represents objects of experience in a series so extended 
that no experience can grasp, partly even (with a view 
to complete the series) it seeks entirely beyond it 
noumena, to which it can attach that chain, and so, 
having at last escaped from the conditions of experi 
ence, make its attitude as it were final. These are 
then the transcendental ideas, which, though accord 
ing to the true but hidden ends of the natural deter 
mination of our reason, they may aim not at extrava 
gant concepts, but at an unbounded extension of their 
empirical use, yet seduce the understanding by an 
unavoidable illusion to a transcendent use, which, 
though deceitful, cannot be restrained within the 
bounds of experience by any resolution, but only by 
scientific instruction and with much difficulty. 


. I. The Psychological Idea. 1 ^f 

46. People have long since observed, that in all 
substances the proper subject, that which remains 
after all the accidents (as predicates) are abstracted, 
consequently that which forms the substance of things 
remains unknown, and various complaints have been 
made concerning these limits to our knowledge. But 
it will be well to consider that the human understand 
ing is not to be blamed for its inability to know the 
substance of things, that is, to determine it by itself, 
but rather for requiring to cognise it which is a mere 
idea definitely as though it were a given object. Pure 
reason requires us to seek for every predicate of a 
thing its proper subject, and for this subject, which 
is itself necessarily nothing but a predicate, its sub 
ject, and so on indefinitely (or as far as we can reach). 
But hence it follows, that we must not hold anything, 
at which we can arrive^ to .be an ultimate subject, 
and that substance itself never cjm_b^J^qught_ by jour 
understandinjk_however deep we may penetrate, even 
if all nature were iin veiled tp_us. For the specific 
nature of our umlerstaii .lin;-; consists in thinkiiii; every 
thing discursively, that is, representing it by concepts, 
and so by mere predicates, to which therefore the ab 
solute subject must always be wanting. Hence all 
the real properties, by which we cognise bodies, are 
mere accidents, not excepting impenetrability, which 
we can only represent to ourselves as the effect of a 
power of which the subject is unknown to us. 

Now we appear to have this substance in the con 
sciousness of ourselves (in the thinking subject), and 
indeed in an immediate intuition; for all the predi- 

1 See Critique of Pure Reason, l r on den Paralogismen der reinen Vernunfl. 


cates of an internal sense refer to the ego, as a sub 
ject, and I cannot conceive myself as the predicate of 
any other subject. Hence completeness in the refer 
ence of the given concepts as predicates to a subject 
not merely an idea, but an object that is, the ab 
solute subject itself, seems to be given in experience. 
But this expectation is disappointed. For the ego is 
not a concept, 1 but only the indication of the object 
of the internal sense, so far as we cognise it by no 
further predicate. Consequently it cannot be in itself 
a predicate of any other thing; but just as little can 
it be a determinate concept of an absolute subject, 
but is, as in all other cases, only the reference of the 
internal phenomena to their unknown subject. Yet 
this idea (which serves very well, as a regulative prin 
ciple, totally to destroy all materialistic explanations 
of the internal phenomena of the soul) occasions by a 
very natural misunderstanding a very specious argu 
ment, which, from this supposed cognition of the 
substance of our thinking being, infers its nature, so 
far as the knowledge of it falls quite without the com 
plex of experience. 

47. But though we may call this thinking self 
(the soul) substance, as being the ultimate subject of 
thinking which cannot be further represented as the 
predicate of another thing; it remains quite empty 
and without significance, if permanence the quality 
which renders the concept of substances in experience 
fruitful cannot be proved of it. 

But permanence can never be proved of the con- 

1 Were the representation of the apperception (the Ego) a concept, by 
which anything could be thought, it could be used as a predicate of other 
things or contain predicates in itself. But it is nothing more than the feeling 
of an existence without tbf Inn^t definite conception and is only the repre 
sentation of that to which ;-\\ think ing stands in relation (relatione accidttitis}. 


cept of a substance, as a thing in itself, but for the 
purposes of experience only. This is sufficiently 
shown by the first Analogy of Experience, 1 and who 
ever will not yield to this proof may try for himself 
whether he can succeed in proving, from the concept 
of a subject which does not exist itself as the predi 
cate of another thing, that its existence is thoroughly 
permanent, and that it cannot either in itself cr by 
any natural cause originate or be annihilated. These 
synthetical a priori propositions can never be proved 
in themselves, but only in reference to things as ob 
jects of possible experience. 

48. If therefore from the concept of the soul as 
a substance, we would infer its permanence, this can 
hold good as regards possible experience only, not 
[of the soul] as a thing in itself and beyond all pos 
sible experience. But life is the subjective condition 
of all our possible experience, consequently we can 
only infer the permanence of the soul in life ; for the 
death of man is the end of all experience which con 
cerns the soul as an object of experience, except the 
contrary be proved, which is the very question in 
hand. The permanence of the soul can therefore 
only be proved (and no one cares for that) during the 
life of man, but not, as we desire to do, after death ; 
and for this general reason, that the concept of sub 
stance, so far as it is to be considered necessarily 
combined with the concept of permanence, can be so 
combined only according to the principles of possible 
experience, and therefore for the purposes of experi 
ence only. 2 

1 Cf. Critique, Von den Analogien tier Erfahrung. 

2 It is indeed very remarkable how carelessly metaphysicians have always 
passed over the principle of the permanence of substances without ever 


49. That there is something real without us 
which not only corresponds, but must correspond, to 
our external perceptions, can likewise be proved to 
be not a connexion of things in themselves, but for 
the sake of experience. This means that there is 
something empirical, i. e. , some phenomenon in space 
without us, that admits of a satisfactory proof, for we 
have nothing to do with other objects than those 
which belong to possible experience; because objects 
which cannot be given us in any experience, do not 
exist for us. Empirically without me is that which 
appears in space, and space, together with all the 
phenomena which it contains, belongs to the represen 
tations, whose connexion according to laws of experi 
ence proves their objective truth, just as the connexion 
of the phenomena of the internal sense proves the ac 
tuality of my soul (as an object of the internal sense). 
By means of external experience I am conscious of 
the actuality of bodies, as external phenomena in 
space, in the same manner as by means of the inter 
nal experience I am conscious of the existence of my 

attempting a proof of it; doubtless because they found themselves aban 
doned by all proofs as soon as they began to deal with the concept of sub 
stance. Common sense, which felt distinctly that without this presupposition 
no union of perceptions in experience is possible, supplied the want by a 
postulate. From experience itself it never could derive such a principle, 
parily because substances cannot be so traced in all their alterations and 
dissolutions, that the matter can always be found undiminishod. partly be 
cause the principle contains necessity, which is always the sign of an a priori 
principle. People then boldly applied this postulate to the concept of soul 
as a substance, and concluded a necessary continuance of the soul after the 
death of man (especially as the simplicity of this substance, which is interred 
from the indivisibility of consciousness, secured it from destruction by dis 
solution). Had they found the genuine source of this principle a discovery 
which requires deeper researches than they were ever inclined to make 
they would have seen, that the law of the permanence of substances has 
place for the purposes of experience only, and hence can hold good of things 
so far as they are to be cognised and conjoined with others in experience, 
but never independently of all possible experience, and consequently cannot 
hold good of the soul after death. 


soul in time, but this soul is only cognised as an ob 
ject of the internal sense by phenomena that consti- 
tute an internal state, and of which the essence in it 
self, which forms the basis of these phenomena, is 
unknown. Cartesian idealism therefore does nothing 
but distinguish external experience from dreaming; 
and the conformity to law (as a criterion of its truth) 
of the former, from the irregularity and the false illu 
sion of the latter. In both it presupposes space and 
time as conditions of the existence of objects, and it 
only inquires whether the objects of the external 
senses, which we when awake put in space, are as 
actually to be found in it, as the object of the internal 
sense, the soul, is in time ; that is, whether experience 
carries with it sure criteria to distinguish it from im 
agination. This doubt, however, may easily be dis 
posed of, and we always do so in common life by in 
vestigating the connexion of phenomena in both space 
and time according to universal laws of experience, 
and we cannot doubt, when the representation of ex 
ternal things throughout agrees therewith, that they 
constitute truthful experience. Material idealism, in 
which phenomena are considered as such only accord 
ing to their connexion in experience, may accordingly 
be very easily refuted; and it is just as sure an expe 
rience, that bodies exist without us (in space), as that 
I myself exist according to the representation of the 
internal sense (in time) : for the notion without us, 
only signifies existence in space. However as the 
Ego in the proposition, "I am," means not only the 
object of internal intuition (in time), but the subject 
of consciousness, just as body means not only external 
intuition (in space), but the thing-in-itself, which is 
the basis of this phenomenon ; [as this is the case] 


the question, whether bodies (as phenomena of the 
external sense) exist as bodies apart from my thoughts, 
may without any hesitation be denied in nature. But 
the question, whether I myself as a phenomenon of 
the internal sense (the soul according to empirical 
psychology) exist apart from my faculty of represen 
tation in time, is an exactly similar inquiry, and must 
likewise be answered in the negative. And in this 
manner everything, when it is reduced to its true 
meaning, is decided and certain. The formal (which 
I have also called transcendental) actually abolishes 
the material, or Cartesian, idealism. For if space be 
nothing but a form of my sensibility, it is as a repre 
sentation in me just as actual as I myself am, and 
nothing but the empirical truth of the representations 
in it remains for consideration. But, if this is not the 
case, if space and the phenomena in it are something 
existing without us, then all the criteria of experience 
beyond our perception can never prove the actuality 
of these objects without us. 

II. The Cosmo logical Id fa. 1 

50. This product of pure reason in its tran 
scendent use is its most remarkable curiosity. It 
serves as a very powerful agent to rouse philosophy 
from its dogmatic slumber, and to stimulate it to the 
arduous task of undertaking a Critique of Reason itself. 

I term this idea cosmological, because it always 
takes its object only from the sensible world, and does 
not use any other than those whose object is given to 
sense, consequently it remains in this respect in its 
native home, it does not become transcendent, and is 
therefore so far not mere idea ; whereas, to conceive 

ICf. Critique, Die Antinomic der reinen Vernunft. 


the soul as a sirfiple substance, already means to con 
ceive such an object (the simple) as cannot be pre 
sented to the senses. Yet the cosmological idea 
extends the connexion of the conditioned with its con 
dition (whether the connexion is mathematical or dy 
namical) so far, that experience never can keep up 
with it. It is therefore with regard to this point always 
an idea, whose object never can be adequately given 
in any experience. 

51. In the first place, the use of a system of 
categories becomes here so obvious and unmistakable, 
that even if there were not several other proofs of it, 
this alone would sufficiently prove it indispensable in 
the system of pure reason. There are only four such 
transcendent ideas, as there are so many classes of 
categories ; in each of which, however, they refer only 
to the absolute completeness of the series of the con 
ditions for a given conditioned. In analogy to these 
cosmological ideas there are only four kinds of dia 
lectical assertions of pure reason, which, as they are 
dialectical, thereby prove, that to each of them, oil 
equally specious principles of pure reason, a contra 
dictory assertion stands opposed. As all the meta 
physical art of the most subtile distinction cannot 
prevent this opposition, it compels the philosopher 
to recur to the first sources of pure reason itself. This 
Antinomy, not arbitrarily invented, but founded in 
the nature of human reason, and hence unavoidable 
and never ceasing, contains the following four theses 
together with their antitheses: 


The World has, as to Time and Space, a Beginning (limit). 


The World is, as to Time and Space, infinite. 


Everything in the World consists of [elements that are] simple. 

There is nothing simple, but everything is composite. 


There are in the World Causes through Freedom. 

There is no Liberty, but all is Nature. 


In the Series of the World-Causes there is some necessary Being. 


There is Nothing necessary in the World, but in this Series All is 

52. a. Here is the most singular phenomenon of 
human reason, no other instance of which can be 
shown in any other use. If we, as is commonly done, 
represent to ourselves the appearances of the sensible 
world as things in themselves, if we assume the prin 
ciples of their combination as principles universally 
valid of things in themselves and not merely of expe 
rience, as is usually, nay without our Critique, un 
avoidably done, there arises an unexpected conflict, 
which never can be removed in the common dogmat 
ical way ; because the thesis, as well as the antithesis, 
can be shown by equally clear, evident, and irresist- 


ible proofs for I pledge myself as to the correctness 
of all these proofs and reason therefore perceives 
that it is divided with itself, a state at which the scep 
tic rejoices, but which must make the critical philos 
opher pause and feel ill at ease. 

52. b. We may blunder in various ways in meta 
physics without any fear of being detected in false 
hood. For we never can be refuted by experience if 
we but avoid self-contradiction, which in synthetical, 
though purely fictitious propositions, may be done 
whenever the concepts, which we connect, are mere 
ideas, that cannot be given (in their whole content) 
in experience. For how can we make out by experi 
ence, whether the world is from eternity or had a be 
ginning, whether matter is infinitely divisible or con 
sists of simple parts? Such concept cannot be given 
in any experience, be it ever so extensive, and conse 
quently the falsehood either of the positive or the 
negative proposition cannot be discovered by this 

The only possible way in which reason could have 
revealed unintentionally its secret Dialectics, falsely 
announced as Dogmatics, would be when it were made 
to ground an assertion upon a universally admitted 
principle, and to deduce the exact contrary with the 
greatest accuracy of inference from another which is 
equally granted. This is actually here the case with 
regard to four natural ide-as of reason, whence four 
assertions on the one side, and as many counter-asser 
tions on the other arise, each consistently following 
from universally-acknowledged principles. Thus they 
reveal by the use of these principles the dialectical 
illusion of pure reason which would otherwise for 
ever remain concealed. 


This is therefore a decisive experiment, which 
must necessarily expose any error lying hidden in the 
assumptions of reason. 1 Contradictory propositions 
cannot both be false, except the concept, which is the 
subject of both, is self-contradictory; for example, 
the propositions, "a square circle is round, and a 
square circle is not round," are both false. For, as 
to the former it is false, that the circle is round, be 
cause it is quadrangular; and it is likewise false, that 
it is not round, that is, angular, because it is a circle. 
For the logical criterion of the impossibility of a con 
cept consists in this, that if we presuppose it, two 
contradictory propositions both become false ; conse 
quently, as no middle between them is conceivable, 
nothing at all is thought by that concept. 

52. c. The first two antinomies, which I call 
mathematical, because they are concerned with the 
addition or division of the homogeneous, are founded 
on such a self-contradictory concept ; and hence I ex 
plain how it happens, that both the Thesis and Anti 
thesis of the two are false. 

When I speak of objects in time and in space, it is 
not of things in themselves, of which I know nothing, 
but of things in appearance, that is, of experience, 
as the particular way of cognising objects which is 
afforded to man. I must not say of what I think in 
time or in space, that in itself, and independent of 

1 I therefore would be pleased to have the critical reader to devote to this 
antinomy of pure reason his chief attention, because nature itself seems to 
have established it with a view to stagger reason in its daring pretentions, 
and to force it to self-examination. For every proof, which I have given, as 
well of the thesis as of the antithesis, I undertake to be responsible, and 
thereby to show the certainty of the inevitable antinomy of reason. When 
the reader is brought by this curious phenomenon to fall back upon the proof 
of the presumption upon which it rests, he will feel himself obliged to in 
vestigate the ultimate foundation of all the cognition of pure reason with me 
more thoroughly. 


these my thoughts, it exists in space and in time; for 
in that case I should contradict myself; because space 
and time, together with the appearances in them, are 
nothing existing in themselves and outside of my rep 
resentations, but are themselves only modes of repre 
sentation, and it is palpably contradictory to say, that 
a mere mode of representation exists without our rep 
resentation. Objects of the senses therefore exist only 
in experience; whereas to give them a self-subsisting 
existence apart from experience or before it, is merely 
to represent to ourselves that experience actually ex 
ists apart from experience or before it. 

Now if I inquire after the quantity of the world, as 
to space and time, it is equally impossible, as regards 
all my notions, to declare it infinite or to declare it 
finite. For neither assertion can be contained in expe 
rience, because experience either of an infinite space, 
or of an infinite time elapsed, or again, of the bound 
ary of the world by a void space, or by an antecedent 
void time, is impossible; these are mere ideas. This 
quantity of the world, which is determined in either 
way, should therefore exist in the world itself apart 
from all experience. This contradicts the notion of a 
world of sense, which is merely a complex of the ap 
pearances whose existence and connexion occur only 
in our representations, that is, in experience, since this 
latter is not an object in itself, but a mere mode of 
representation. Hence it follows, that as the concept 
of an absolutely existing world of sense is self-contra 
dictory, the solution of the problem concerning its 
quantity, whether attempted affirmatively or nega 
tively, is always false. 

The same holds good of the second antinomy, 
which relates to the division of phenomena. For these 


are mere representations, and the parts exist merely 
in their representation, consequently in the division, 
or in a possible experience where they are given, and 
the division reaches only as far as this latter reaches. 
To assume that an appearance, e. g., that of body, 
contains in itself before all experience all the parts, 
which any possible experience can ever reach, is to 
impute to a mere appearance, which can exist only in 
experience, an existence previous to experience. In 
other words, it would mean that mere representations 
exist before they can be found in our faculty of repre 
sentation. Such an assertion is self-contradictory, as 
also every solution of our misunderstood problem, 
whether we maintain, that bodies in themselves con 
sist of an infinite number of parts, or of a finite num 
ber of simple parts. 

53. In the first (the mathematical) class of anti 
nomies the falsehood of the assumption consists in 
representing in one concept something self contra- 
dictory as if it were compatible (i. e., an appearance 
as an object in itself). But, as to the second (the dy 
namical) class of antinomies, the falsehood of the rep 
resentation consists in representing as contradictory 
what is compatible ; so that, as in the former case, 
the opposed assertions are both false, in this case, on 
the other hand, where they are opposed to one an 
other by mere misunderstanding, they may both be 

Any mathematical connexion necessarily presup 
poses homogeneity of what is connected (in the con 
cept of magnitude), while the dynamical one by nr 
means requires the same. When we have to deal with 
extended magnitudes, all the parts must be homogene 
ous with one another and with the whole ; whereas, 


in the connexion of cause and effect, homogeneity 
may indeed likewise be found, but is not necessary; 
for the concept of causality (by means of which some- 
tiling is posited through something else quite different 
from it), at all events, does not require it. 

If the objects of the world of sense are taken for 
things in themselves, and the above laws of nature 
for the laws of things in themselves, the contradiction 
would be unavoidable. So also, if the subject of free 
dom were, like other objects, represented as mere ap 
pearance, the contradiction would be just as unavoid 
able, for the same predicate would at once be affirmed 
and denied of the same kind of object in the same 
sense. But if natural necessity is referred merely to 
appearances, and freedom merely to things in them 
selves, no contradiction arises, if we at once assume, 
or admit both kinds of causality, however difficult or 
impossible it may be to make the latter kind conceiv 

As appearance every effect is an event, or some 
thing that happens in time ; it must, according to the 
universal law of nature, be preceded by a determina 
tion of the causality of its cause (a state), which fol 
lows according to a constant law. But this determi 
nation of the cause as causality must likewise be 
something that takes place or happens; the cause 
must have begun to act, otherwise no succession be 
tween it and the effect could be conceived. Other 
wise the effect, as well as the causality of the cause, 
would have always existed. Therefore the determi 
nation of the cause to act must also have originated 
among appearances, and must consequently, as well 
as its effect, be an event, which must again have its 
cause, and so on ; hence natural necessity must be 



the condition, on which effective causes are deter 
mined. Whereas if freedom is to be a property of 
certain causes of appearances, it must, as regards 
these, which are events, be a faculty of starting them 
spontaneously, that is, without the causality of the 
cause itself, and hence without requiring any other 
ground to determine its start. But then the cause, 
as to its causality, must not rank under time-determi 
nations of its state, that is, it cannot be an appear 
ance, and must be considered a thing in itself, while 
its effects would be only appearances. 1 If without 
contradiction we can think of the beings of under 
standing [Verstandesweseti} as exercising such an in 
fluence on appearances, then natural necessity will 
attach to all connexions of cause and effect in the 
sensuous world, though on the other hand, freedom 
can be granted to such cause, as is itself not an ap 
pearance (but the foundation of appearance). Nature 
therefore and freedom can without contradiction be 
attributed to- the very same thing, but in different re 
lations on one side as a phenomenon, on the other 
as a thing in itself. 

We have in us a faculty, which not only stands in 

IThe idea of freedom occurs only in the relation of the intellectual, as 
cause, to the appearance, as effect. Hence we cannot attribute freedom to 
matter in regard to the incessant action by which it fills its space, though 
this action takes place from an internal principle. We can likewise find no 
notion of freedom suitable to purely rational beings, for instance, to God, so 
far as his action is immanent. For his action, though independent of ex 
ternal determining causes, is determined in his eternal reason, that is, in the 
divine nature. It is only, if something is to start by an action, and so the 
effect occurs in the sequence of time, or in the world of sense (e. g., the be 
ginning of the world), that we can put the question, whether the causality of 
the cause must in its turn have been started, or whether the cause can origi 
nate an effect without its causality itself beginning. In the former case the 
concept of this causality is a concept of natural necessity, in the latter, that 
of freedom. From this the reader will see, that, as 1 explained freedom to 
be the faculty of starting an event spontaneously, I have exactly hit the no 
^01 which is the prob;em of meta-physics. 


connexion with its subjective determining grounds 
that are the natural causes of its actions, and is so far 
the faculty of a being that itself belongs to appear 
ances, but is also referred to objective grounds, that 
are only ideas, so far as they can determine this fac 
ulty, a connexion which is expressed by the word 
ought. This faculty is called reason, and, so far as 
we consider a being (man) entirely according to this 
objectively determinable reason, he cannot be consid 
ered as a being of sense, but this property is that of a 
thing in itself, of which we cannot comprehend the 
possibility I mean how the ought (which however 
has never yet taken place) should determine its activ 
ity, and can become the cause of actions, whose effect 
is an appearance in the sensible world. Yet the cau 
sality of reason would be freedom with regard to the 
effects in the sensuous world, so far as we can con 
sider objective grounds, which are themselves ideas, 
as their determinants. For its action in that case 
would not depend upon subjective conditions, conse 
quently not upon those of time, and of course not 
upon the law of nature, which serves to determine 
them, because grounds of reason give to actions the 
rule universally, according to principles, without the 
influence of the circumstances of either time or place. 

What I adduce here is merely meant as an ex 
ample to make the thing intelligible, and does not 
necessarily belong to our problem, which must be de 
cided from mere concepts, independently of the prop 
erties which we meet in the actual world. 

Now I may say without contradiction: that all the 
actions of rational beings, so far as they are appear 
ances (occurring in any experience), are subject to 
the necessity of nature ; but the same actions, as re- 


gards merely the rational subject and its faculty of 
acting according to mere reason, are free. For what 
is required for the necessity of nature? Nothing more 
than the determinability of every event in the world 
of sense according to constant laws, that is, a refer 
ence to cause in the appearance ; in this process the 
thing in itself at its foundation and its causality re 
main unknown. But I say, that the law of nature 
remains, whether the rational being is the cause of 
the effects in the sensuous world from reason, that is, 
through freedom, or whether it does not determine 
them on grounds of reason. For, if the former is the 
case, the action is performed according to maxims, 
the effect of which as appearance is always conform 
able to constant laws ; if the latter is the case, and 
the action not performed on principles of reason, it 
is subjected to the empirical laws of the sensibility, 
and in both cases the effects are connected according 
to constant laws ; more than this we do not require 
or know concerning natural necessity. But in the 
former case reason is the cause of these laws of na 
ture, and therefore free ; in the latter the effects fol 
low according to mere natural laws of sensibility, be 
cause reason does not influence it ; but reason itself 
is not determined on that account by the sensibility, 
arid is therefore free in this case too. Freedom is 
therefore no hindrance to natural law in appearance, 
neither does this law abrogate the freedom of the 
practical use of reason, which is connected with 
things in themselves, as determining grounds. 

Thus practical freedom, viz., the freedom in which 
reason possesses causality according to objectively 
determining grounds, is rescued and yet natural ne 
cessity is not in the least curtailed with regard to the 


very same effects, as appearances. The same remarks 
will serve to explain what we had to say concerning 
transcendental freedom and its compatibility with 
natural necessity (in the same subject, but not taken 
in the same reference). For, as to this, every begin 
ning of the action of a being from objective causes 
regarded as determining grounds, is always a first 
start, though the same action is in the series of ap 
pearances only a subordinate start, which must be 
preceded by a state of the cause, which determines it, 
and is itself determined in the same manner by an 
other immediately preceding. Thus we are able, in 
rational beings, or in beings generally, so far as their 
causality is determined in them as things in them 
selves, to imagine a faculty of beginning from itself 
a series of states, without falling into contradiction 
with the laws of nature. For the relation of the ac 
tion to objective grounds of reason is not a time-rela 
tion ; in this case that which determines the causality 
does not precede in time the action, because such de 
termining grounds represent not a reference to objects 
of sense, e. g., to causes in the appearances, but to 
determining causes, as things in themselves, which do 
not rank under conditions of time. And in this way 
the action, with regard to the causality of reason, can 
be considered as a first start in respect to the series of 
appearances, and yet also as a merely subordinate be 
ginning. We may therefore without contradiction 
consider it in the former aspect as free, but in the 
latter (in so far as it is merely appearance) as subject 
to natural necessity. 

As to the fourth Antinomy, it is solved in the same 
way as the conflict of reason with itself in the third. 
For, provided the cause in the appearance is distin- 


guished from the cause vfthe appearance (so far as it 
can be thought as a thing in itself), both propositions 
are perfectly reconcilable : the one, that there is no 
where in the sensuous world a cause (according to 
similar laws of causality), whose existence is abso 
lutely necessary; the other, that this world is never 
theless connected with a Necessary Being as its cause 
(but of another kind and according to another law). 
The incompatibility of these propositions entirely rests 
upon the mistake of extending what is valid merely 
of appearances to things in themselves, and in gen 
eral confusing both in one concept. 

54. This then is the proposition and this the so 
lution of the whole antinomy, in which reason finds 
itself involved in the application of its principles to 
the sensible world. The former alone (the mere prop 
osition) would be a considerable service in the cause 
of our knowledge of human reason, even though the 
solution might fail to fully satisfy the reader, who has 
here to combat a natural illusion, which has been but 
recently exposed to him, and which he had hitherto 
always regarded as genuine. For one result at least 
is unavoidable. As it is quite impossible to prevent 
this conflict of reason with itself so long as the ob 
jects of the sensible world are taken for things in 
themselves, and not for mere appearances, which they 
are in fact the reader is thereby compelled to ex 
amine over again the deduction of all our a priori cog 
nition and the proof which I have given of my deduc 
tion in order to come to a decision on the question. 
This is all I require at present ; for when in this oc 
cupation he shall have thought himself deep enough 
into the nature of pure reason, those concepts by 
which alone the solution of the conflict of reason is 


possible, will become sufficiently familiar to him. 
Without this preparation I cannot expect an unre 
served assent even from the most attentive reader. 

III. The Theological Idea . l 

55. The third transcendental Idea, which affords 
matter for the most important, but, if pursued only 
speculatively, transcendent and thereby dialectical 
use of reason, is the ideal of pure reason. Reason in 
this case does not, as with the psychological and the 
cosmological Ideas, begin from experience, and err 
by exaggerating its grounds, in striving to attain, if 
possible, the absolute completeness of their series. It 
rather totally breaks with experience, and from mere 
concepts of what constitutes the absolute complete 
ness of a thing in general, consequently by means of 
the idea of a most perfect primal Being, it proceeds 
to determine the possibility and therefore the actuality 
of all other things. And so the mere presupposition 
of a Being, who is conceived not in the series of expe 
rience, yet for the purposes of experience for the 
sake of comprehending its connexion, order, and unity 
i. e., the idea [the notion of it], is more easily distin 
guished from the concept of the understanding here, 
than in the former cases. Hence we can easily expose 
the dialectical illusion which arises from our making 
the subjective conditions of our thinking objective 
conditions of objects themselves, and an hypothesis 
necessary for the satisfaction of our reason, a dogma. 
As the observations of the Critiqtie on the preten 
sions of transcendental theology are intelligible, clear, 
and decisive, I have nothing more to add on the sub 

ICf. Critique, the chapter on "Transcendental Ideals." 


General Remark on the Transcendental Ideas. 

56. The objects, which are given us by experi 
ence, are in many respects incomprehensible, and 
many questions, to which the law of nature leads us, 
when carried beyond a certain point (though quite 
conformably to the laws of nature), admit of no an 
swer; as for example the question: why substances 
attract one another? But if we entirely quit nature, 
or in pursuing its combinations, exceed all possible 
experience, and so enter the realm of mere ideas, we 
cannot then say that the object is incomprehensible, 
and that the nature of things proposes to us insoluble 
problems. For we are not then concerned with na 
ture or in general with given objects, but with con 
cepts, which have their origin merely in our reason, 
and with mere creations of thought; and all the prob 
lems that arise from our notions of them must be 
solved, because of course reason can and must give 
a full account of its own procedure. 1 As the psycho 
logical, cosmological, and theological Ideas are noth 
ing but pure concepts of reason, which cannot be 
given in any experience, the questions which reason 
asks us about them are put to us not by the objects, 
but by mere maxims of our reason for the sake of its 

1 Herr Platner in his Aphorisms acutely says ( 728, 729), " If reason be a 
criterion, no concept, which is incomprehensible to human reason, can be 
possible. Incomprehensibility has place in what is actual only. Here in 
comprehensibility arises from the insufficiency of the acquired ideas." It 
sounds paradoxical, but is otherwise not strange to say, that in nature there 
is much incomprehensible (e. g., the faculty of generation) but if we mount 
still higher, and even go beyond nature, everything again becomes compre 
hensible; for we then quit entirely the objects, which can be given us, and 
occupy ourselves merely about ideas, in which occupation we can easily 
comprehend the law that reason prescribes by them to the understanding for 
its use in experience, because the law is the reason s own production. 


own satisfaction. They must all be capable of satis 
factory answers, which is done by showing that they 
are principles which bring our use of the under 
standing into thorough agreement, completeness, arid 
synthetical unity, and that they so far hold good of 
experience only, but of experience as a whole. 

Although an absolute whole of experience is im 
possible, the idea of a whole of cognition according 
to principles must impart to our knowledge a peculiar 
kind of unity, that of a system, without which it is 
nothing but piecework, and cannot be used for prov 
ing the existence of a highest purpose (which can 
only be the general system of all purposes), I do not 
here refer only to the practical, but also to the high 
est purpose of the speculative use of reason. 

The transcendental Ideas therefore express the 
peculiar application of reason as a principle of syste 
matic unity in the use of the understanding. Yet if 
we assume this unity of the mode of cognition to be 
attached to the object of cognition, if we regard that 
which is merely regulative to be constitutive, and if 
we persuade ourselves that we can by means of these 
Ideas enlarge our cognition transcendently, or far be 
yond all possible experience, while it only serves to 
render experience within itself as nearly complete as 
possible, i. e., to limit its progress by nothing that 
cannot belong to experience : we suffer from a mere 
misunderstanding in our estimate of the proper appli 
cation of our reason and of its principles, and from a 
Dialectic, which both confuses the empirical use of 
reason, and also sets reason at variance with itself. 



On the Determination of the Bounds of Pure Reason. 

57. Having adduced the clearest arguments, it 
would be absurd for us to hope that we can know 
more of any object, than belongs to the possible ex 
perience of it, or lay claim to the least atom of knowl 
edge about anything not assumed to be an object of 
possible experience, which would determine it accord 
ing to the constitution it has in itself. For how could 
we determine anything in this way, since time, space, 
and the categories, and still more all the concepts 
formed by empirical experience or perception in the 
sensible world (Anschauung), have and can have no 
other use, than to make experience possible. And if 
this condition is omitted from the pure concepts of 
the understanding, they do not determine any object, 
and have no meaning whatever. 

But it would be on the other hand a still greater 
absurdity if we conceded no things in themselves, or 
set up our experience for the only possible mode of 
knowing things, our way of beholding (Anschauung) 
them in space and in time for the only possible way, 
and our discursive understanding for the archetype of 
every possible understanding ; in fact if we wished to 
have the principles of the possibility of experience 
considered universal conditions of things in them 

Our principles, which limit the use of reason to 
possible experience, might in this way become tran 
scendent, and the limits of our reason be set up as 
limits of the possibility of things in themselves (as 


Hume s dialogues mny illustrate), if a careful critique 
did not guard the bounds of our reason with respect 
to its empirical use, and set a limit to its pretensions. 
Scepticism originally arose from metaphysics and its 
licentious dialectics. At first it might, merely to favor 
the empirical use of reason, announce everything that 
transcends this use as worthless and deceitful ; but by 
and by, when it was perceived that the very same 
principles that are used in experience, insensibly, and 
apparently with the same right, led still further than 
experience extends, then men began to doubt even 
the propositions of experience. But here there is no 
danger; for common sense will doubtless always as 
sert its rights. A certain confusion, however, arose 
in science which cannot determine how far reason is 
to be trusted, and why only so far and no further, and 
this confusion can only be cleared up and all future 
relapses obviated by a formal determination, on prin 
ciple, of the boundary of the use of our reason. 

We cannot indeed, beyond all possible experience, 
form a definite notion of what things in themselves 
may be. Yet we are not at liberty to abstain entirely 
from inquiring into them ; for experience never satis 
fies reason fully, but in answering questions, refers us 
further and further back, and leaves us dissatisfied 
with regard to their complete solution. This any one 
may gather from the Dialectics of pure reason, which 
therefore has its good subjective grounds. Having 
acquired, as regards the nature of our soul, a clear 
conception of the subject, and having come to the 
conviction, that its manifestations cannot be explained 
materialistically, who can refrain from asking what 
the soul really is, and, if no concept of experience 
suffices for the purpose, from accounting for it by a 


concept of reason (that of a simple immaterial being), 
though we cannot by any means prove its objective 
reality? Who can satisfy himself with mere empirical 
knowledge in all the cosmological questions of the 
duration and of the quantity of the world, of freedom 
or of natural necessity, since every answer given on 
principles of experience begets a fresh question, which 
likewise requires its answer and thereby clearly shows 
the insufficiency of all physical modes of explanation 
to satisfy reason? Finally, who does not see in the 
thorough-going contingency and dependence of all his 
thoughts and assumptions on mere principles of ex 
perience, the impossibility of stopping there? And 
who does not feel himself compelled, notwithstanding 
all interdictions against losing himself in transcendent 
ideas, to seek rest and contentment beyond all the 
concepts which he can vindicate by experience, in the 
concept of a Being, the possibility of which we can 
not conceive, but at the same time cannot be refuted, 
because it relates to a mere being of the understand 
ing, and without it reason must needs remain forever 

Bounds (in extended beings) always presuppose a 
space existing outside a certain definite place, and in 
closing it ; limits do not require this, but are mere 
negations, which affect a quantity, so far as it is 
not absolutely complete. But our reason, as it were, 
sees in its surroundings a space for the cognition of 
things in themselves, though we can never have defi 
nite notions of them, and are limited to appearances 

As long as the cognition of reason is homogene 
ous, definite bounds to it are inconceivable. In math 
ematics and in natural phflosophy human reason ad- 


mits of limits, but not of bounds, viz., that something 
indeed lies without it, at which it can never arrive, 
but not that it will at any point find completion in its 
internal progress. The enlarging of our views in math 
ematics, and the possibility of new discoveries, are 
infinite ; and the same is the case with the discovery 
of new properties of nature, of new powers and laws, 
by continued experience and its rational combination. 
But limits cannot be mistaken here, for mathematics 
refers to appearances only, and what cannot be an ob 
ject of sensuous contemplation, such as the concepts 
of metaphysics and of morals, lies entirely without its 
sphere, and it can never lead to them ; neither does 
it require them. It is therefore not a continual pro 
gress and an approximation towards these sciences, 
and there is not, as it were, any point or line of con 
tact. Natural science will never reveal to us the in 
ternal constitution of things, which though not ap 
pearance, yet can serve as the ultimate ground of 
explaining appearance. Nor does that science require 
this for its physical explanations. Nay even if such 
grounds should be offered from other sources (for in 
stance, the influence of immaterial beings), they must 
be rejected and not used in the progress of its explana 
tions. For these explanations must only be grounded 
upon that which as an object of sense can belong to 
experience, and be brought into connexion with our 
actual perceptions and empirical laws. 

But metaphysics leads us towards bounds in the 
dialectical attempts of pure reason (not undertaken 
arbitrarily or wantonly, but stimulated thereto by the 
nature of reason itself). And the transcendental Ideas, 
as they do not admit of evasion, and are never cap 
able of realisation, serve to point out to us actually 


not only the bounds of the pure use of reason, but also 
the way to determine them. Such is the end and the 
use of this natural predisposition of our reason, which 
has brought forth metaphysics as its favorite child, 
whose generation, like every other in the world, is not 
to be ascribed to blind chance, but to an original 
germ, wisely organised for great ends. For meta 
physics, in its fundamental features, perhaps more 
than any other science, is placed in us by nature it 
self, and cannot be considered the production of an 
arbitrary choice or ,a casual enlargement in the pro 
gress of experience from which it is quite disparate. 
Reason with all its concepts and laws of the un 
derstanding, which suffice for empirical use, i. e., 
within the sensible world, finds in itself no satisfaction 
because ever-recurring questions deprive us of all hope 
of their complete solution. The transcendental ideas, 
which have that completion in view, are such prob 
lems of reason. But it sees clearly, that the sensuous 
world cannot contain this completion, neither conse 
quently can all the concepts, which serve merely for 
understanding the world of sense, such as space and 
time, and whatever we have adduced under the name 
of pure concepts of the understanding. The sensuous 
world is nothing but a chain of appearances connected 
according to universal laws ; it has therefore no sub 
sistence by itself; it is not the thing in itself, and 
consequently must point to that which contains the 
basis of this experience, to beings which cannot be 
cognised merely as phenomena, but as things in them 
selves. In the cognition of them alone reason can 
hope to satisfy its desire of completeness in proceed 
ing from the conditioned to its conditions. 


We have above ( 33, 34) indicated the limits of 
reason with regard to all cognition of mere creations 
of thought. Now, since the transcendental ideas have 
urged us to approach them, and thus have led us, as 
it were, to the spot where the occupied space (viz., 
experience) touches the void (that of which we can 
know nothing, viz., noumena), we can determine the 
bounds of pure reason. For in all bounds there is 
something positive (e. g., a surface is the boundary 
of corporeal space, and is therefore itself a space, a 
line is a space, which is the boundary of the surface, 
a point the boundary of the line, but yet always a 
place in space), whereas limits contain mere nega 
tions. The limits pointed out in those paragraphs are 
not enough after we have discovered that beyond them 
there still lies something (though we can never cog 
nise what it is in itself). For the question now is, 
What is the attitude of our reason in this connexion 
of what we know with what we do not, and never shall, 
know? This is an actual connexion of a known thing 
with one quite unknown (and which will always re 
main so), and though what is unknown should not 
become the least more known which we cannot even 
hope yet the notion of this connexion must be defi 
nite, and capable of being rendered distinct. 

We must therefore accept an immaterial being, a 
world of understanding, and a Supreme Being (all 
mere noumena), because in them only, as things in 
themselves, reason finds that completion and satisfac 
tion, which it can never hope for in the derivation of 
appearances from their homogeneous grounds, and 
because these actually have reference to something 
distinct from them (and totally heterogeneous), as 
appearances always presuppose an object in itself, 


and therefore suggest its existence whether we can 
know more of it or not. 

But as we can never cognise these beings of un 
derstanding as they are in themselves, that is, defi 
nitely, yet must assume them as regards the sensible 
world, and connect them with it by reason, we are at 
least able to think this connexion by means of such 
concepts as express their relation to the world of 
sense. Yet if we represent to ourselves a being of the 
understanding by nothing but pure concepts of the 
understanding, we then indeed represent nothing def 
inite to ourselves, consequently our concept has no 
significance ; but if we think it by properties borrowed 
from the sensuous world, it is no longer a being of un 
derstanding, but is conceived as an appearance, and 
belongs to the sensible world. Let us take an in 
stance from the notion of the Supreme Being. 

Our deistic conception is quite a pure concept of 
reason, but represents only a thing containing all 
realities, without being able to determine any one of 
them; because for that purpose an example must be 
taken from the world of sense, in which case we should 
have an object of sense only, not something quite 
heterogeneous, which can never be an object of sense. 
Suppose I attribute to the Supreme Being understand 
ing, for instance ; I have no concept of an understand 
ing other than my own, one that must receive its per 
ceptions {Anschauung) by the senses, and which is 
occupied in bringing them under rules of the unity of 
consciousness. Then the elements of my concept 
would always lie in the appearance ; I should how 
ever by the insufficiency of the appearance be neces 
sitated to go beyond them to the concept of a being 
which neither depends upon appearance, nor is bound 


up with them as conditions of its determination. But 
if I separate understanding from sensibility to obtain 
a pure understanding, then nothing remains but the 
mere form of thinking without perception (Anschau- 
ung}, by which form alone I can cognise nothing def 
inite, and consequently no object. For that purpose 
I should conceive another understanding, such as 
would directly perceive its objects, 1 but of which I 
have not the least notion ; because the human under 
standing is discursive, and can [not directly perceive, 
it can] only cognise by means of general concepts. 
And the very same difficulties arise if we attribute a 
will to the Supreme Being ; for we have this concept 
only by drawing it from our internal experience, and 
therefore from our dependence for satisfaction upon 
objects whose existence we require ; and so the notion 
rests upon sensibility, which is absolutely incompatible 
with the pure concept of the Supreme Being. 

Hume s objections to deism are weak, and affect 
only the proofs, and not the deistic assertion itself. 
But as regards theism, which depends on a stricter 
determination of the concept of the Supreme Being 
which in deism is merely transcendent, they are very 
strong, and as this concept is formed, in certain (in 
fact in all common) cases irrefutable. Hume always 
insists, that by the mere concept of an original being, 
to which we apply only ontological predicates (eter 
nity, omnipresence, omnipotence), we think nothing 
definite, and that properties which can yield a con 
cept in concreto must be superadded ; that it is not 
enough to say, it is Cause, but we must explain the 
nature of its causality, for example, that of an under 
standing and of a will. He then begins his attacks 

IDer die Gegenstande anschaute. 


on the essential point itself, i. e., theism, as he had 
previously directed his battery only against the proofs 
of deism, an attack which is not very dangerous to it 
in its consequences. All his dangerous arguments 
refer to anthropomorphism, which he holds to be in 
separable from theism, and to make it absurd in it 
self; but if the former be abandoned, the latter must 
vanish with it, and nothing remain but deism, of which 
nothing can come, which is of no value, and which 
cannot serve as any foundation to religion or morals. 
If this anthropomorphism were really unavoidable, no 
proofs whatever of the existence of a Supreme Being, 
even were they all granted, could determine for us the 
concept of this Being without involving us in contra 

If we connect with the command to avoid all tran 
scendent judgments of pure reason, the command 
(which apparently conflicts with it) to proceed to con 
cepts that lie beyond the field of its immanent (em 
pirical) use, we discover that both can subsist to 
gether, but only at the boundary of all lawful use of 
reason. For this boundary belongs as well to the field 
of experience, as to that of the creations of thought, 
and we are thereby taught, as well, how these so re 
markable ideas serve merely for marking the bounds 
of human reason. On the one hand they give warning 
not boundlessly to extend cognition of experience, as 
if nothing but world 1 remained for us to cognise, and 
yet, on the other hand, not to transgress the bounds 
of experience, and to think of judging about things 
beyond them, as things in themselves. 

But we stop at this boundary if we limit our judg- 

IThe use of the word " world " without article, though odd, seems to be 
the correct reading, but it may be a mere misprint. Ed. 


ment merely to the relation which the world may have 
to a Being whose very concept lies beyond all the 
knowledge which we can attain within the world. For 
we then do not attribute to the Supreme Being any of 
the properties in themselves, by which we represent 
objects of experience, and thereby avoid dogmatic an 
thropomorphism ; but we attribute them to his rela 
tion to the world, and allow ourselves a symbolical 
anthropomorphism, which in fact concerns language 
only, and not the object itself. 

If I say that we are compelled to consider the 
world, as if it were the work of a Supreme Under 
standing and Will, I really say nothing more, than 
that a watch, a ship, a regiment, bears the same rela 
tion to the watchmaker, the shipbuilder, the com 
manding officer, as the world of sense (or whatever 
constitutes the substratum of this complex of appear 
ances) does to the Unknown, which I do not hereby 
cognise as it is in itself, but as it is for me or in rela 
tion to the world, of which I am a part. 

58. Such a cognition is one of analogy, and does 
not signify (as is commonly understood) an imperfect 
similarity of two things, but a perfect similarity of rela 
tions between two quite dissimilar things. 1 By means 

1 There is, e g., an analogy between the juridical relation of human actions 
and the mechanical relation of motive powers. I never can do anything to an 
other man without giving him a right to do the same to me on the same con 
ditions ; just as no mass can act with its motive power on another mass with 
out thereby occasioning the other to react equally against it. Here right and 
motive power are quite dissimilar things, but in their relation there is com 
plete similarity. By means of such an analogy I can obtain a notion of the 
relation of things which absolutely are unknown to me. For instance, as the 
promotion of the welfare of children (= a) is to the love of parents (= b), so 
the welfare of the human species (= c) is to that unknown [quantity which is] 
in God (=x), which we call love; not as if it had the least similarity to any 
human inclination, but because we can suppose its relation to the world to 
be similar to that which things of the world bear one another. But the con- 


of this analogy, however, there remains a concept of 
the Supreme Being sufficiently determined for us, 
though we have left out everything that could deter 
mine it absolutely or in itself; for we determine it as 
regards the world and as regards ourselves, and more 
do we not require. The attacks which Hume makes 
upon those who would determine this concept abso 
lutely, by taking the materials for so doing from 
themselves and the world, do not affect us ; and he 
cannot object to us, that we have nothing left if we 
give up the objective anthropomorphism of the con 
cept of the Supreme Being. 

For let us assume at the outset (as Hume in his 
dialogues makes Philo grant Cleanthes), as a neces 
sary hypothesis, the deistical concept of the First Be 
ing, in which this Being is thought by the mere onto- 
logical predicates of substance, of cause, etc. This 
must be done, because reason, actuated in the sen 
sible world by mere conditions, which are themselves 
always conditional, cannot otherwise have any satis 
faction, and it therefore can be done without falling 
into anthropomorphism (which transfers predicates 
from the world of sense to a Being quite distinct from 
the world), because those predicates are mere catego 
ries, which, though they do not give a determinate 
concept of God, yet give a concept not limited to any 
conditions of sensibility. Thus nothing can prevent 
our predicating of this Being a causality through rea 
son with regard to the world, and thus passing to the 
ism, without being obliged to attribute to God in 
himself this kind of reason, as a property inhering in 
him. For as to the former, the only possible way of 

cept of relation in this case is a mere category, viz., the concept of cause, 
which has nothing to do with sensibility. 


prosecuting the use of reason (as regards all possible 
experience, in complete harmouy with itself) in the 
world of sense to the highest point, is to assume a 
supreme reason r.s a cause of all the connexions in 
the world. Such a principle must be quite advantage 
ous to reason and can hurt it nowhere in its applica 
tion to nature. As to the latter, reason is thereby 
not transferred as a property to the First Being in 
himself, but only to his relation to the world of sense, 
and so anthropomorphism is entirely avoided. For 
nothing is considered here but the cause of the form 
of reason which is perceived everywhere in the world, 
and reason is attributed to the Supreme Being, so far 
as it contains the ground of this form of reason in the 
world, but according to analogy only, that is, so far 
as this expression shows merely the relation, which 
the Supreme Cause unknown to us has to the world, 
in order to determine everything in it conformably to 
reason in the highest degree. We are thereby kept 
from using reason as an attribute for the purpose of 
conceiving God, but instead of conceiving the world 
in such a manner as is necessary to have the greatest 
possible use of reason according to principle. We 
thereby acknowledge that the Supreme Being is quite 
inscrutable and even unthinkable in any definite way 
as to what he is in himself. We are thereby kept, on 
the one hand, from making a transcendent use of the 
concepts which we have of reason as an efficient cause 
(by means of the will), in order to determine the Di 
vine Nature by properties, which are only borrowed 
from human nature, and from losing ourselves in 
gross and extravagant notions, and on the other hand 
from deluging the contemplation of the world with 
hyperphysical modes of explanation according to our 


notions of human reason, which we transfer to God, 
and so losing for this contemplation its proper appli 
cation, according to which it should be a rational 
study of mere nature, and not a presumptuous deriva 
tion of its appearances from a Supreme Reason. The 
expression suited to our feeble notions is, that we con 
ceive the world as if it came, as to its existence and 
internal plan, from a Supreme Reason, by which no 
tion we both cognise the constitution, which belongs 
to the world itself, yet without pretending to deter 
mine the nature of its cause in itself, and on the other 
hand, \\e transfer the ground of this constitution (of 
the form of reason in the world) upon the relation of 
the Supreme Cause to the world, without finding the 
world sufficient by itself for that purpose. 1 

Thus the difficulties which seem to oppose theism 
disappear by combining with Hume s principle "not 
to carry the use of reason dogmatically beyond the 
field of all possible experience" this other principle, 
which he quite overlooked : "not to consider the field 
of experience as one which bounds itself in the eye of 
our reason." The Critique of Pure Reason here points 
out the true mean between dogmatism, which Hume 
combats, and skepticism, which he would substitute 
for it a mean which is not like other means that we 
find advisable to determine for ourselves as it were 
mechanically (by adopting something from one side 
and something from the other), and by which nobody 

1 1 may say, that the causality of the Supreme Cause holds the same 
place with regard to the world that human reason does with regard to its 
works of art. Here the nature of the Supreme Cause itself remains unknown 
to me : I only compare its effects (the order of the world) which I know, and 
their conformity to reason, to the effects of human reason which I also know; 
and hence I term the former reason, without attributing to it on that account 
what I understand in man by this term, or attaching to it anything else 
known to me, as its property. 


is taught a better way, but such a one as can be ac 
curately determined on principles. 

59. At the beginning of this annotation I made 
use of the metaphor of a boundary, in order to estab- v 
lish the limits of reason in regard to its suitable use. 
The world of sense contains merely appearances, 
which are not things in themselves, but the under 
standing must assume these latter ones, viz., noumena. 
In our reason both are comprised, and the question 
is, How does reason proceed to set boundaries to the 
understanding as regards both these fields? Experi 
ence, which contains all that belongs to the sensuous 
world, does not bound itself; it only proceeds in 
every case from the conditioned to some other equally 
conditioned object. Its boundary must lie quite with 
out it, and this field is that of the pure beings of the 
understanding. But this field, so far as the determi 
nation of the nature of these beings is concerned, is 
an empty space for us, and if dogmatically-determined 
concepts alone are in question, we cannot pass out of 
the field of possible experience. But as a boundary 
itself is something positive, which belongs as well to 
that which lies within, as to the space that lies with 
out the given complex, it is still an actual positive 
cognition, which reason only acquires by enlarging 
itself to this boundary, yet without attempting to pass 
it; because it there finds itself in the presence of an 
empty space, in which it can conceive forms of things, 
but not things themselves. But the setting of a bound 
ary to the field of the understanding by something, 
which is otherwise unknown to it, is still a cognition 
which belongs to reason even at this standpoint, and 
by which it is neither confined within the sensible, 
nor straying without it, but only refers, as befits the 


knowledge of a boundary, to the relation between that 
which lies without it, and that which is contained 
within it. 

Natural theology is such a concept at the bound 
ary of human reason, being constrained to look be 
yond this boundary to the Idea of a Supreme Being 
(and, for practical purposes to that of an intelligible 
world also), not in order to determine anything rela 
tively to this pure creation of the understanding, which 
lies beyond the world of sense, but in order to guide 
the use of reason within it according to principles of 
the greatest possible (theoretical as well as practical) 
unity. For this purpose we make use of the reference 
of the world of sense to an independent reason, as the 
cause of all its connexions. Thereby we do not purely 
invent a being, but, as beyond the sensibl& world 
there must be something that can only be thought by 
the pure understanding, we determine that something 
in this particular way, though only of course accord 
ing to analogy. 

And thus there remains our original proposition, 
which is the rtsumt of the whole Critique: "that rea 
son by all its a priori principles never teaches us any 
thing more than objects of possible experience, and 
even of these nothing more than can be cognised in 
experience." But this limitation does not prevent 
reason leading us to the objective boundary of experi 
ence, viz., to the reference to something which is not 
itself an object of experience, but is the ground of all 
experience. Reason does not however teach us any 
thing concerning the thing in itself: it only instructs 
us as regards its own complete and highest use in the 
field of possible experience. But this is all that can 


be reasonably desired in the present case, and with 
which we have cause to be satisfied. 

60. Thus we have fully exhibited metaphysics as 
it is actually given in the natural predisposition of hu 
man reason, and in that which constitutes the essen 
tial end of its pursuit, according to its subjective pos 
sibility. Though we have found, that this merely 
natural use of such a predisposition of our reason, if 
no discipline arising only from a scientific critique 
bridles and sets limits to it, involves us in transcendent, 
either apparently or really conflicting, dialectical syl 
logisms ; and this fallacious metaphysics is not only 
unnecessary as regards the promotion of our knowl 
edge of nature, but even disadvantageous to it : there 
yet remains a problem worthy of solution, which is to 
find out the natural ends intended by this disposition 
to transcendent concepts in our reason, because every 
thing that lies in nature must be originally intended 
for some useful purpose. 

Such an inquiry is of a doubtful nature; and I 
acknowledge, that what I can say about it is conjec 
ture only, like every speculation about the first ends 
of nature. The question does not concern the objec 
tive validity of metaphysical judgments, but our nat 
ural predisposition to them, and therefore does not 
belong to the system of metaphysics but to anthro 

When I compare all the transcendental Ideas, the 
totality of which constitutes the particular problem of 
natural pure reason, compelling it to quit the mere 
contemplation of nature, to transcend all possible ex 
perience, and in this endeavor to produce the thing 
(be it knowledge or fiction) called metaphysics, I think 
I perceive that the aim of this natural tendency is, to 


free our notions from the fetters of experience and 
from the limits of the mere contemplation of nature 
so far as at least to open to us a field containing mere 
objects for the pure understanding, which no sensi 
bility can reach, not indeed for the purpose of specu- 
latively occupying ourselves with them (for there we 
can find no ground to stand on), but because practical 
principles, which, without finding some such scope 
for their necessary expectation and hope, could not 
expand to the universality which reason unavoidably 
requires from a moral point of view. 

So I find that the Psychological Idea (however 
little it may reveal to me the nature of the human 
soul, which is higher than all concepts of experience), 
shows the insufficiency of these concepts plainly 
enough, and thereby deters me from materialism, the 
psychological notion of which is unfit for any explana 
tion of nature, and besides confines reason in prac 
tical respects. The Cosmological Ideas, by the ob 
vious insufficiency of all possible cognition of nature 
to satisfy reason in its lawful inquiry, serve in the 
same manner to keep us from naturalism, which as 
serts nature to be sufficient for itself. Finally, all 
natural necessity in the sensible world is conditional, 
as it always presupposes the dependence of things 
upon others, and unconditional necessity must be 
sought only in the unity of a cause different from the 
world of sense. But as the causality of this cause, in 
its turn, were it merely nature, could never render 
the existence of the contingent (as its consequent) 
comprehensible, reason frees itself by means of the 
Theological Idea from fatalism, (both as a blind nat 
ural necessity in the coherence of nature itself, with 
out a first principle, and as a blind causality of this 


principle itself), and leads to the concept of a cause 
possessing freedom, or of a Supreme Intelligence. 
Thus the transcendental Ideas serve, if not to instruct 
us positively, at least to destroy the rash assertions of 
Materialism, of Naturalism, and of Fatalism, and thus 
to afford scope for the moral Ideas beyond the field of 
speculation. These considerations, I should think, 
explain in some measure the natural predisposition of 
which I spoke. 

The practical value, which a merely speculative 
science may have, lies without the bounds of this sci 
ence, and can therefore be considered as a scholion 
merely, and like all scholia does not form part of the 
science itself. This application however surely lies 
within the bounds of philosophy, especially of philos 
ophy drawn from the pure sources of reason, where 
us speculative use in metaphysics must necessarily be 
at unity with its practical use in morals. Hence the 
unavoidable dialectics of pure reason, considered in 
metaphysics, as a natural tendency, deserves to be 
explained not as an illusion merely, which is to be re 
moved, but also, if possible, as a natural provision as 
regards its end, though this duty, a work of super 
erogation, cannot justly be assigned to metaphysics 

The solutions of these questions which are treated 
in the chapter on the Regulative Use of the Ideas of 
Pure Reason 1 should be considered a second scholion 
which however has a greater affinity with the subject 
of metaphysics. For there certain rational principles 
are expounded which determine a priori the order of 
nature or rather of the understanding, which seeks 
nature s laws through experience. They seem to be 

1 Critique of Pure Reason, II., chap. III., section 7. 


constitutive and legislative with regard to experience, 
though they spring from pure reason, which cannot 
be considered, like the understanding, as a principle 
of possible experience. Now whether or not this har 
mony rests upon the fact, that just as nature does not 
inhere in appearances or in their source (the sensibil 
ity) itself, but only in so far as the latter is in relation 
to the understanding, as also a systematic unity in 
applying the understanding to bring about an entirety 
of all possible experience can only belong to the un 
derstanding when in relation to reason ; and whether 
or not experience is in this way mediately subordinate 
to the legislation of reason : may be discussed by 
those who desire to trace the nature of reason even 
beyond its use in metaphysics, into the general prin 
ciples of a history of nature ; I have represented this 
task as important, but not attempted its solution, in 
the book itself. 1 

And thus I conclude the analytical solution of the 
main question which I had proposed : How is meta 
physics in general possible? by ascending from the 
data of its actual use in its consequences, to the 
grounds of its possibility. 

^Throughout in the Critique I never lost sight of the plan not to neglect 
anything, were it ever so recondite, that could render the inquiry into the 
nature of pure reason complete. Everybody may afterwards carry his re 
searches as far as he pleases, when he has been merely shown what yet re 
mains to be done. It is this a duty which must reasonably be expected of 
him who has made it his business to survey the whole field, in order to con 
sign it to others for future cultivation and allotment. And to this branch 
both the scholia belong, which will hardly recommend themselves by their 
dryness to amateurs, and hence are added here for connoisseurs only. 





METAPHYSICS, as a natural disposition of rea 
son, is actual, but if considered by itself alone 
(as the analytical solution of the third principal ques 
tion showed), dialectical and illusory. If we think of 
taking principles from it, and in using them follow 
the natural, but on that account not less false, illu 
sion, we can never produce science, but only a vain 
dialectical art, in which one school may outdo an 
other, but none can ever acquire a just and lasting 

In order that as a science metaphysics may be en 
titled to claim not mere fallacious plausibility, but in 
sight and conviction, a Critique of Reason must itself 
exhibit the whole stock of a priori concepts, their di 
vision according to their various sources (Sensibilit) , 
Understanding, and Reason), together with a com 
plete table of them, the analysis of all these concepts, 
with all their consequences, especially by means of 
the deduction of these concepts, the possibility of 
synthetical cognition a priori, the principles of its ap 
plication and finally its bounds, all in a complete sys 
tem. Critique, therefore, and critique _ alone, contains 
in itself the_ffihol& well- proved and well- tested plan, 


and even all the means required to accomplish meta 
physics, as a science; by other ways and means it is 
impossible. The question here tlxTefore is not so 
much how this performance is possible, as how to set 
it going, and induce men of clear heads to quit their 
hitherto perverted and fruitless cultivation for one 
that will not deceive, and how such a union for the 
common end may best be directed. 

This much is certain, that whoever has once tasted 
Critique will be ever after disgusted with all dogmati 
cal twaddle which he formerly put up with, because 
his reason must have something, and could find noth 
ing better for its support. 

Critique stands in the same relation to the com 
mon metaphysics of the schools, as chemistry does to 
alchemy, or as astronomy to the astrology of the for 
tune-teller. I pledge myself that nobody who has 
read through and through, and grasped the principles 
of, the Critique even in these Prolegomena only, will 
ever return to that old and sophistical pseudo-science; 
but will rather with a certain delight look forward to 
metaphysics which is now indeed in his power, re 
quiring no more preparatory discoveries, and now at 
last affording permanent satisfaction to reason. For 
here is an advantage upon which, of all possible sci 
ences, metaphysics alone can with certainty reckon : 
that it can be brought to such completion and fixity 
as to be incapable of further change, or of any aug 
mentation by new discoveries; because here reason 
has Jhe_sources of its knowledge in itself, not in pb- 
jects^ and their observation (Anschauung), by which 
latterjts stock of knowledge cannot be further in 
creased. When then-fore it has exhibited the funda 
mental laws of its faculty completely and so definitely 


as to avoid all misunderstanding, there remains noth 
ing for pure reason to cognise a priori, nay, there is 
even no ground to raise further questions. The sure 
prospect of knowledge so definite and so compact has 
a peculiar charm, even though we should set aside all 
its advantages, of which I shall hereafter speak. 

All false art, all vain wisdom, lasts its time, but 
finally destroys itself, and its highest culture is also 
the epoch of its decay. That this time is come for 
metaphysics appears from the state into which it has 
fallen among all learned nations, despite of all the 
zeal with which other sciences of every kind are pros 
ecuted. The old arrangement of our university studies 
still preserves its shadow ; now and then an Academy 
of Science tempts men by offering prizes to write 
essays on it, but it is no longer numbered among 
thorough sciences ; and let any one judge for himself 
how a man of genius, if he were called a great meta 
physician, would receive the compliment, which may 
be well-meant, but is scarce envied by anybody. 

Yet, though the period of the downfall of all dog 
matical metaphysics has undoubtedly arrived, we are 
yet far from being able to say that the period of its 
regeneration is come by means of a thorough and 
complete Critique of Reason. All transitions from a 
tendency to its contrary pass through the stage of in 
difference, and this moment is the most dangerous for 
an author, but, in my opinion, the most favorable for 
the science. For, when party spirit has died out by 
a total dissolution of former connexions, minds are in 
the best state to listen to several proposals for an or 
ganisation according to a new plan. 

When I say, that I hope these Prolegomena will 
excite investigation in the field of critique and afford 

a new and promising object to sustain the general 
spirit of philosophy, which seems on its speculative 
side to want sustenance, I can imagine beforehand, 
that every one, whom the thorny paths of my Critique 
have tired and put out of humor, will ask me, upon 
what I found this hope. My answer is, upon the irre 
sistible law of necessity. 

That the human mind will ever give up metaphys 
ical researches is as little to be expected as that we 
should prefer to give up breathing altogether, to avoid 
inhaling impure air. There will therefore always be 
metaphysics in the world ; nay, every one, especially 
every man of reflexion, will have it, and for want of a 
recognised standard, will shape it for himself after his 
own pattern. What has hitherto been called meta 
physics, cannot satisfy any critical mind, but to forego 
it entirely is impossible ; therefore a Critique of Pure 
Reason itself must now be attempted or, if one exists, 
investigated, and brought to the full test, because 
there is no other means of supplying this pressing 
want, which is something more than mere thirst for 

Ever since I have come to know critique, when 
ever I finish reading a book of metaphysical contents, 
which, by the preciseness of its notions, by variety, 
order, and an easy style, was not only entertaining 
but also helpful, I cannot help asking, " Has this 
author indeed advanced metaphysics a single step?" 
The learned men, whose works have been useful to 
me in other respects and always contributed to the 
culture of my mental powers, will, I hope, forgive me 
for saying, that I have never been able to find either 
their essays or my own less important ones (though 
self-love may recommend them to me) to have ad- 


vanced the science of metaphysics in the least, and 

Here is the very obvious reason : metaphysics did 
not then exist as a science, nor can it be gathered 
piecemeal, but its germ must be fully preformed in 
the Critique. But in order to prevent all misconcep 
tion, we must remember what has been already said, 
that by the analytical treatment of our concepts the 
understanding gains indeed a great deal, but the 
science (of metaphysics) is thereby not in the least 
advanced, because these dissections of concepts are 
nothing but the materials from which the intention is 
to carpenter our science. Let the concepts of sub 
stance and of accident be ever so well dissected and 
determined, all this is very well as a preparation for 
some future use. But if we cannot prove, that in all 
which exists the substance endures, and only the ac 
cidents vary, our science is not the least advanced 
by all our analyses. 

Metaphysics has hitherto never been able to prove 
a priori either this proposition, or that of sufficient 
reason, still less any more complex theorem, such as 
belongs to psychology or cosmology, or indeed any 
synthetical proposition. By all its analysing therefore 
nothing is affected, nothing obtained or forwarded, 
and the science, after all this bustle and noise, still 
remains as it was in the days of Aristotle, though 
far better preparations were made for it than of old, 
if the clue to synthetical cognitions had only been 

If any one thinks himself offended, he is at liberty 
to refute my charge by producing a single synthetical 
proposition belonging to metaphysics, which he would 
prove dogmatically a priori, for until he has actually 


performed this feat, I shall not grant that he has truly 
advanced the science ; even should this proposition be 
sufficiently confirmed by common experience. No de 
mand can be more moderate or more equitable, and 
in the (inevitably certain) event of its non-perform 
ance, no assertion more just, than that hitherto meta 
physics has never existed as a science. 

But there are two things which, in case the chal 
lenge be accepted, I must deprecate: first, trifling 
about probability and conjecture, which are suited as 
little to metaphysics, as to geometry; and secondly, 
a decision by means of the magic wand of common 
sense, which does not convince every one, but which 
accommodates itself to personal peculiarities. 

For as to the former, nothing can be more absurd, 
than in metaphysics, a philosophy from pure reason 
to think of grounding our judgments upon probability 
and conjecture. Everything that is to be cognised a 
priori, is thereby announced as apodeictically certain, 
and must therefore be proved in this way. We might 
as well think of grounding geometry or arithmetic 
upon conjectures. As to the .doctrine of chances in 
the latter, it does not contain probable, but perfectly 
certain, judgments concerning the degree of the prob 
ability of certain cases, under given uniform condi 
tions, which, in the sum of all possible cases, infallibly 
happen according to the rule, though it is not suffi 
ciently determined in respect to every single chance. 
Conjectures (by means of induction and of analogy) 
can be suffered in an empirical science of nature only, 
yet even there the possibility at least of what we as 
sume must be quite certain. 

The appeal to common sense is even more absurd, 
when concept and principles are announced as valid, 


not in so far as they hold with regard to experience, 
but even beyond the conditions of experience. For 
what is common sense? It is normal good sense, so 
far it judges right. But what is normal good sense? 
It is the faculty of the knowledge and use of rules in 
concrete, as distinguished from the speculative under 
standing, which is a faculty of knowing rules in ub- 
stracto. Common sense can hardly understand the 
rule, " that every event is determined by means of its 
cause," and can never comprehend it thus generally. 
It therefore demands an example from experience, 
and when it hears that this rule means nothing but 
what it always thought when a pane was broken or a 
kitchen-utensil missing, it then understands the prin 
ciple and grants it. Common sense therefore is only 
of use so far as it can see its rules (though they actu 
ally are a priori^) confirmed by experience ; conse 
quently to comprehend them a priori, or independently 
of experience, belongs to the speculative understand 
ing, and lies quite beyond the horizon of common 
sense. But the province of metaphysics is entirely 
confined to the latter kind of knowledge, and it is cer 
tainly a bad index of common sense to appeal to it as 
a witness, for it cannot here form any opinion what 
ever, and men look down upon it with contempt until 
they are in difficulties, and can find in their specula 
tion neither in nor out. 

It is a common subterfuge of those false friends of 
common sense (who occasionally prize it highly, but 
usually despise it) to say, that there must surely be 
at all events some propositions which are immediately 
certain, and of which there is no occasion to give any 
proof, or even any account at all, because we other 
wise could never stop inquiring into the grounds of 


our judgments But if we except the principle of 
contradiction, which is not sufficient to show the truth 
of synthetical judgments, they can never adduce, in 
proof of this privilege, anything else indubitable, 
which they can immediately ascribe to common sense, 
except mathematical propositions, such as twice two 
make four, between two points there is but one 
straight line, etc. But these judgments are radically 
different from those of metaphysics. For in mathe 
matics I myself can by thinking construct whatever I 
represent to myself as possible by a concept : I add 
to the first two the other two, one by one, and myself 
make the number four, or I draw in thought from one 
point to another all manner of lines, equal as well as 
unequal ; yet I can draw one only, which is like itself 
in ail its parts. But I cannot, by all my power of 
thinking, extract from the concept of a thing the con 
cept of something else, whose existence is necessarily 
connected with the former, but I must call in experi 
ence. And though my understanding furnishes me 
a priori (yet only in reference to possible experience) 
with the concept of such a connexion (i. e., causation), 
I cannot exhibit it, like the concepts of mathematics, 
by (Anschauung) visualising them, a priori, and so 
show its possibility a priori. This concept, together 
with the principles of its application, always requires, 
if it shall hold a priori as is requisite in metaphysics 
a justification and deduction of its possibility, be 
cause we cannot otherwise know how far it holds 
good, and whether it can be used in experience only 
or beyond it also. 

Therefore in metaphysics, as a speculative science 
of pure reason, we can never appeal to common sense, 
but may do so only v/hen we are forced to surrender 


it, and to renounce all purely speculative cognition, 
which must always be knowledge, and consequently 
when we forego metaphysics itself and its instruction, 
for the sake of adopting a rational faith which alone 
may be possible for us, and sufficient to our wants, 
perhaps even more salutary than knowledge itself. 
For in this case the attitude of the question is quite 
altered. Metaphysics must be science, not only as a 
whole, but in all its parts, otherwise it is nothing; 
because, as a speculation of pure reason, it finds a 
hold only on general opinions. Beyond its field, how 
ever, probability and common sense may be used with 
advantage and justly, but on quite special principles, 
of which the importance always depends on theTefer- 
ence to practical life. 

This is what I hold myself justified in requiring 
for the possibility of metaphysics as a science. 



SINCE all the ways heretofore taken have failed to 
attain the goal, and since without a preceding 
critique of pure reason it is not likely ever to be at 
tained, the present essay now before the public has a 
fair title to an accurate and careful investigation, ex 
cept it be thought more advisable to give up all pre 
tensions to metaphysics, to which, if men but would 
consistently adhere to their purpose, no objection can 
be made. 

If we take the course of things as it is, not as it 
ought to be, there are two sorts of judgments: (i) one 
a judgment which precedes investigation (in our case 
one in which the reader from his own metaphysics 
pronounces judgment on the Critique of Pure Reason 
which was intended to discuss the very possibility of 
metaphysics); (2) the other a judgment subsequent to 
investigation. In the latter the reader is enabled to 
waive for awhile the consequences of the critical 
researches that may be repugnant to his formerly 
adopted metaphysics, and first examines the grounds 
whence those consequences are derived. If what 
common metaphysics propounds were demonstrably 
certain, as for instance the theorems of geometry, the 
former way of judging would hold good. For if the 


consequences of certain principles are repugnant to 
established truths, these principles are false and with 
out further inquiry to be repudiated. But if meta 
physics does not possess a stock of indisputably cer 
tain (synthetical) propositions, and should it even be 
the case that there are a number of them, which, 
though among the most specious, are by their conse 
quences in mutual collision, and if no sure criterion 
of the truth of peculiarly metaphysical (synthetical) 
propositions is to be met with in it, then the former 
way of judging is not admissible, but the investigation 
of the principles of the critique must precede all judg 
ments as to its value. 


This judgment is to be found in the Gottingischen ge- 
lehrten Anzeigen, in the supplement to the third divi 
sion, of January 19, 1782, pages 40 et seq. 

When an author who is familiar with the subject 
of his work and endeavors to present his independent 
reflexions in its elaboration, falls into the hands of a 
reviewer who, in his turn, is keen enough to discern 
the points on which the worth or worthlessness of the 
book rests, who does not cling to words, but goes to 
the heart of the subject, sifting and testing more than 
the mere principles which the author takes as his 
point of departure, the severity of the judgment may 
indeed displease the latter, but the public does not 
care, as it gains thereby; and the author himself may 
be contented, as an opportunity of correcting or ex 
plaining his positions is afforded to him at an early 
date by the examination of a competent judge, in 
such a manner, that if he believes himself fundamen- 


tally right, he can remove in time any stone of offence 
that might hurt the success of his work. 

I find myself, with my reviewer, in quite another 
position. He seems not to see at all the real matter 
of the investigation with which (successfully or un 
successfully) I have been occupied. It is either im 
patience at thinking out a lengthy work, or vexation 
at a threatened reform of a science in which he be 
lieved he had brought everything to perfection long 
ago, or, what I am unwilling to imagine, real narrow- 
mindedness, that prevents him from ever carrying his 
thoughts beyond his school-metaphysics. In short, 
he passes impatiently in review a long series of prop 
ositions, by which, without knowing their premises, 
we can think nothing, intersperses here and there his 
censure, the reason of which the reader understands 
just as little as the propositions against which it is di 
rected ; and hence [his report] can neither serve the 
public nor damage me, in the judgment of experts. I 
should, for these reasons, have passed over this judg 
ment altogether, were it not that it may afford me oc 
casion for some explanations which may in some cases 
save the readers of these Prolegomena from a miscon 

In order to take a position from which my reviewer 
could most easily set the whole work in a most un 
favorable light, without venturing to trouble himself 
with any special investigation, he begins and ends by 
saying : 

"This work is a system of transcendent (or, as he 
translates it, of higher) Idealism." 1 

IBy no means "higher." High towers, and metaphysically-great men 
resembling them, round both of which there is commonly much wind, are not 
for me. My place is the fruitful bathos, the bottom-land, of experience; and 
the word transcendental, the meaning of which is so often explained by me, 


A glance at this line soon showed me the sort of 
criticism that I had to expect, much as though the re 
viewer were one who had never seen or heard of geom 
etry, having found a Euclid, and coming upon various 
figures in turning over its leaves, were to say, on being 
asked his opinion of it: "The work is a text-book of 
drawing ; the author introduces a peculiar terminol 
ogy, in order to give dark, incomprehensible direc 
tions, which in the end teach nothing more than what 
every one can effect by a fair natural accuracy of eye, 

Let us see, in the meantime, what sort of an ideal 
ism it is that goes through my whole work, although 
it does not by a long way constitute the soul of the 

The dictum of all genuine idealists from the Eleatic 
school to Bishop Berkeley, is contained in this for 
mula: "All cognition through the senses and experi 
ence is nothing but sheer illusion, and only, in the 
ideas of the pure understanding and reason there is 

The principle that throughout dominates and de 
termines my Idealism, is on the contrary: "All cog 
nition of things merely from pure understanding or 
pure reason is nothing but sheer illusion, and only in 
experience is there truth." 

But this is directly contrary to idealism proper. 

but not once grasped by my reviewer (so carelessly has he regarded every 
thing), does not signify something passing beyond all experience, but some 
thing that indeed precedes it a priori, but that is intended simply to make 
cognition of experience possible. If these conceptions overstep experience, 
their employment is termed transcendent, a word which must be distinguished 
from transcendental, the latter being limited to the immanent use, that is, 
to experience. All misunderstandings of this kind have been sufficiently 
guarded against in the work itself, but my reviewer found his advantage in 
misunderstanding me. 


How came I then to use this expression for quite an 
opposite purpose, and how came my reviewer to see 
it everywhere? 

The solution of this difficulty rests on something 
that could have been very easily understood from the 
general bearing of the work, if the reader had only 
desired to do so. Space and time, together with all 
that they contain, are not things nor qualities in them 
selves, but belong merely to the appearances of the 
latter: up to this point I am one in confession with 
the above idealists. But these, and amongst them 
more particularly Berkeley, regarded space as a mere 
empirical presentation that, like the phenomenon it 
contains, is only known to us by means of experience 
or perception, together with its determinations. I, 
on the contrary, prove in the first place, that space 
(and also time, which Berkeley did not consider) and 
all its determinations a priori, can be cognised by us, 
because, no less than time, it inheres in our sensibility 
as a pure form before all perception or experience and 
makes all intuition of the same, and therefore all its 
phenomena, possible. It follows from this, that as 
truth rests on universal and necessary law r s as its cri 
teria, experience, according to Berkeley, can have no 
criteria of truth, because its phenomena (according to 
him) have nothing a priori at their foundation ; whence 
it follows, that they are nothing but sheer illusion ; 
whereas with us, space and time (in conjunction with 
the pure conceptions of the understanding) prescribe 
their law to all possible experience a priori, and at 
the same time afford the certain criterion for distin 
guishing truth from illusion therein. 1 

1 Idealism proper always has a mystical tendency, and can have no other, 
but mine is solely designed for the purpose of comprehending the possibility 


My so-called (properly critical) Idealism is of quite 
a special character, in that it subverts the ordinary 
idealism, and that through it all cognition a priori, 
even that of geometry, first receives objective reality, 
which, without my demonstrated ideality of space and 
time, could not be maintained by the most zealous 
realists. This being the state of the case, I could 
have wished, in order to avoid all misunderstanding, 
to have named this conception of mine otherwise, but 
to alter it altogether was impossible. It may be per 
mitted me however, in future, as has been above inti 
mated, to term it the formal, or better still, the crit 
ical Idealism, to distinguish it from the dogmatic 
Idealism of Berkeley, and from the sceptical Idealism 
of Descartes. 

Beyond this, I find nothing further remarkable in 
the judgment of my book. The reviewer criticises 
here and there, makes sweeping criticisms, a mode 
prudently chosen, since it does not betray one s own 
knowledge or ignorance ; a single thorough criticism 
in detail, had it touched the main question, as is only 
fair, would have exposed, it may be my error, or it 
may be my reviewer s measure of insight into this spe 
cies of research. It was, moreover, not a badly con 
ceived plan, in order at once to take from readers 
(who are accustomed to form their conceptions of 
books from newspaper reports) the desire to read the 
book itself, to pour out in one breath a number of pas 
sages in succession, torn from their connexion, and 

of our cognition a priori as to objects of experience, which is a problem 
never hitherto solved or even suggested. In this way all mystical idealism 
falls to the ground, for (as may be seen already in Plato) it inferred from our 
cognitions a priori (even from those of geometry) another intuition different 
from that of the senses (namely, an intellectual intuition), because it never 
occurred to any one that the senses themselves might intuite a priori. 


their grounds of proof and explanations, and which 
must necessarily sound senseless, especially consider 
ing how antipathetic they are to all school-metaphys 
ics ; to exhaust the reader s patience ad nauseam, and 
then, after having made me acquainted with the sen 
sible proposition that persistent illusion is truth, to 
conclude with the crude paternal moralisation : to 
what end, then, the quarrel with accepted language, 
to what end, and whence, the idealistic distinction? 
A judgment which seeks all that is characteristic of 
my book, first supposed to be metaphysically hetero 
dox, in a mere innovation of the nomenclature, proves 
clearly that my would-be judge has understood noth 
ing of the subject, and in addition, has not under 
stood himself. 1 

My reviewer speaks like a man who is conscious 
of important and superior insight which he keeps hid 
den ; for I am aware of nothing recent with respect to 
metaphysics that could justify his tone. But he should 
not withhold his discoveries from the world, for there 
are doubtless many who, like myself, have not been 
able to find in all the fine things that have for long 
past been written in this department, anything that 
has advanced the science by so much as a finger- 
breadth ; we find indeed the giving a new point to 
definitions, the supplying of lame proofs with new 
crutches, the adding to the crazy-quilt of metaphysics 

IThe reviewer often fights with his own shadow. When I oppose the 
truth of experience to dream, he never thinks that I am here speaking simply 
of the well-known somnio objective sumto of the Wolffian philosophy, which is 
merely formal, and with which the distinction between sleeping and waking; 
is in no way concerned, and in a transcendental philosophy indeed can have 
no place. For the rest, he calls my deduction of the categories and table of 
the principles of the understanding, " common well-known axioms of logic 
and ontology, expressed in an idealistic manner." The reader need only 
consult these Prolegomena, upon this point, to convince himself that a more 
miserable and historically incoirtct, judgment, could hardly be made. 


fresh patches or changing its pattern ; but all this is 
not what the world requires. The world is tired of 
metaphysical assertions ; it wants the possibility of 
the science, the sources from which certainty therein 
can be derived, and certain criteria by which it may 
distinguish the dialectical illusion of pure reason from 
truth. To this the critic seems to possess a key, other 
wise he would never have spoken out in such a high 

But I am inclined to suspect that no such require 
ment of the science has ever entered his thoughts, for 
in that case he would have directed his judgment to 
this point, and even a mistaken attempt in such an 
important matter, would have won his respect. If 
that be the case, we are once more good friends. He 
may penetrate as deeply as he likes into metaphysics, 
without any one hindering him ; only as concerns that 
which lies outside metaphysics, its sources, which are 
to be found in reason, he cannot form a judgment. 
That my suspicion is not without foundation, is proved 
by the fact that he does not mention a word about the 
possibility of synthetic knowledge a priori, the special 
problem upon the solution of which the fate of meta 
physics wholly rests, and upon which my Critique (as 
well as the present Prolegomena} entirely hinges. The 
Idealism he encountered, and which he hung upon, 
was only taken up in the doctrine as the sole means 
of solving the above problem (although it received its 
confirmation on other grounds), and hence he must 
have shown either that the above problem does not 
possess the importance I attribute to it (even in these 
Prolegomena}, or that by my conception of appear 
ances, it is either not solved at all, or can be better 
solved in another way ; but I do not find a word of 


this in the criticism. The reviewer, then, understands 
nothing of my work, and possibly also nothing of the 
spirit and essential nature of metaphysics itself; and 
it is not, what I would rather assume, the hurry of a 
man incensed at the labor of plodding through so 
many obstacles, that threw an unfavorable shadow 
over the work lying before him, and made its funda 
mental features unrecognisable. 

There is a good deal to be done before a learned 
journal, it matters not with what care its writers may 
be selected, can maintain its otherwise well-merited 
reputation, in the field of metaphysics as elsewhere. 
Other sciences and branches of knowledge have their 
standard. Mathematics has it, in itself; history and 
theology, in profane or sacred books ; natural science 
and the art of medicine, in mathematics and experi 
ence ; jurisprudence, in law books; and even matters 
of taste in the examples of the ancients. But for the 
judgment of the thing called metaphysics, the standard 
has yet to be found. I have made an attempt to de 
termine it, as well as its use. What is to be done, 
then, until it be found; when works of this kind have 
to be judged of? If they are of a dogmatic character, 
one may do what one likes ; no one will play the mas 
ter over others here for long, before some one else 
appears to deal with him in the same manner. If, 
however, they are critical in their character, not in 
deed with reference to other works, but to reason it 
self, so that the standard of judgment cannot be as 
sumed but has first of all to be sought for, then, though 
objection and blame may indeed be permitted, yet a 
certain degree of leniency is indispensable, since the 
need is common to us all, and the lack of the neces- 


sary insight makes the high-handed attitude of judge 

In order, however, to connect my defence with the 
interest of the philosophical commonwealth, I pro 
pose a test, which must be decisive as to the mode, 
whereby all metaphysical investigations may be di 
rected to their common purpose. This is nothing 
more than what formerly mathematicians have done, 
in establishing the advantage of their methods by 
competition. I challenge my critic to demonstrate, 
as is only just, on a priori grounds, in his way, a 
single really metaphysical principle asserted by him. 
Being metaphysical it must be synthetic and cognised 
a priori from conceptions, but it may also be any one 
of the most indispensable principles, as for instance, 
the principle of the persistence of substance, or of the 
necessary determination of events in the world by 
their causes. If he cannot do this (silence however is 
confession), he must admit, that as metaphysics with 
out apodeictic certainty of propositions of this kind 
is nothing at all, its possibility or impossibility must 
before all things be established in a critique of the 
pure reason. Thus he is bound either to confess that 
my principles in the Critique are correct, or he HI list 
prove their invalidity. But as I can already foresee, 
that, confidently as he has hitherto relied on the cer 
tainty of his principles, when it comes to a strict test 
he will not find a single one in the whole range of 
metaphysics he can bring forward, I will concede to 
him an advantageous condition, which can only be 
expected in such a competition, and will relieve him 
of the onus probandi by laying it on myself. 

He finds in these Prolegomena and in my Critique 
(chapter on the " Theses and Antitheses of the Four 


Antinomies") eight propositions, of which two and two 
contradict one another, but each of which necessarily 
belongs to metaphysics, by which it must either be 
accepted or rejected (although there is not one that 
has not in this time been held by some philosopher). 
Now he has the liberty of selecting any one cf these 
eight propositions at his pleasure, and accepting it 
without any proof, of which I shall make him a pres 
ent, but only one (for waste of time will be just as 
little serviceable to him as to me), and then of attack 
ing my proof of the opposite proposition. If I can 
save this one, and at the same time show, that ac 
cording to principles which every dogmatic meta 
physics must necessarily recognise, the opposite of 
the proposition adopted by him can be just as clearly 
proved, it is thereby established that metaphysics has 
an hereditary failing, not to be explained, much less 
set aside, until we ascend to its birth-place, pure rea 
son itself, and thus my Critique must either be ac 
cepted or a better one take its place; it must at least 
be studied, which is the only thing I now require. If, 
on the other hand, I cannot save my demonstration, 
then a synthetic proposition a priori from dogmatic 
principles is to be reckoned to the score of my oppo 
nent, then also I will deem my impeachment of ordi 
nary metaphysicsas unjust, and pledge myself to 
recognise his stricture on my Critique as justified 
(although this would not be the consequence by a 
long way). To this end it would be necessary, it 
seems to me, that he should step out of his incognito. 
Otherwise I do not see how it could be avoided, that 
instead of dealing with one, I should be honored by 
several problems coming from anonymous and un 
qualified opponents. 



I feel obliged to the honored public even for the 
silence with which it for a long time favored my Cri 
tique, for this proves at least a postponement of judg 
ment, and some supposition that in a work, leaving 
all beaten tracks and striking out on a new path, in 
which one cannot at once perhaps so easily find one s 
way, something may perchance lie, from which an 
important but at present dead branch of human 
knowledge may derive new life and productiveness. 
Hence may have originated a solicitude for the as yet 
tender shoot, lest it be destroyed by a hasty judg 
ment. A test of a judgment, delayed for the above 
reasons, is now before my eye in the Gothaischcn gc- 
Ithrtcn Zeitungi the thoroughness of which every 
reader will himself perceive, from the clear and un- 
perverted presentation of a fragment of one of the 
first principles of my work, without taking into con 
sideration my own suspicious praise. 

And now I propose, since an extensive structure 
cannot be judged of as a whole from a hurried glance, 
to test it piece by piece from its foundations, so thereby 
the present Prolegomena may fitly be used as a gene 
ral outline with which the work itself may occasionally 
be compared. This notion, if it were founded on 
nothing more than my conceit of importance, such as 
vanity commonly attributes to one s own productions, 
would be immodest and would deserve to be repudi 
ated with disgust. But now, the interests of specula 
tive philosophy have arrived at the point of total ex 
tinction, while human reason hangs upon them with 


inextinguishable affection, and only after having been 
ceaselessly deceived does it vainly attempt to change 
this into indifference. 

In our thinking age it is not to be supposed but 
that many deserving men would use any good oppor 
tunity of working for the common interest of the more 
and more enlightened reason, if there were only some 
hope of attaining the goal. Mathematics, natural 
science, laws, arts, even morality, etc., do not com 
pletely fill the soul ; there is always a space left over, 
reserved for pure and speculative reason, the vacuity 
of which prompts us to seek in vagaries, buffooneries, 
and myticism for what seems to be employment and 
entertainment, but what actually is mere pastime; in 
order to deaden the troublesome voice of reason, 
which in accordance with its nature requires some 
thing that can satisfy it, and not merely subserve 
other ends or the interests of our inclinations. A con 
sideration, therefore, which is concerned only with 
reason as it exists for it itself, has as I may reason 
ably suppose a great fascination for every one who 
has attempted thus to extend his conceptions, and I 
may even say a greater than any other theoretical 
branch of knowledge, for which he would not willingly 
exchange it, because here all other cognitions, and 
even purposes, must meet and unite themselves in a 

I offer, therefore, these Prolegomena as a sketch 
and text-book for this investigation, and not the work 
itself. Although I am even now perfectly satisfied 
with the latter as far as contents, order, and mode of 
presentation, and the care that I have expended in 
weighing and testing every sentence before writing it 
down, are concerned (for it has taken me years to 


satisfy myself fully, not only as regards the whole, 
but in some cases even as to the sources of one par 
ticular proposition); yet I am not quite satisfied with 
my exposition in some sections of the doctrine of ele 
ments, as for instance in the deduction of the concep 
tions of the Understanding, or in that on the paral 
ogisms of pure reason, because a certain diffuseness 
takes away from their clearness, and in place of them, 
what is here said in the Prolegomena respecting these 
sections, may be made the basis of the test. 

It is the boast of the Germans that where steady 
and continuous industry are requisite, they can carry 
things farther than other nations. If this opinion be 
well founded, an opportunity, a business, presents it 
self, the successful issue of which we can scarcely 
doubt, and in which all thinking men can equally 
take part, though they have hitherto been unsuccess 
ful in accomplishing it and in thus confirming the 
above good opinion. But this is chiefly because the 
science in question is of so peculiar a kind, that it 
can be at once brought to completion and to that en 
during state that it will never be able to be brought 
in the least degree farther or increased by later dis 
coveries, or even changed (leaving here out of account 
adornment by greater clearness in some places, or 
additional uses), and this is an advantage no other 
science has or can have, because there is none so fully 
isolated and independent of others, and which is con 
cerned with the faculty of cognition pure and simple. 
And the present moment seems, moreover, not to be 
unfavorable to my expectation, for just now, in Ger 
many, no one seems to know wherewith to occupy 
himself, apart from the so-called useful sciences, so 


as to pursue not mere play, but a business possessing 
an enduring purpose. 

To discover the means how the endeavors of the 
learned may be united in such a purpose, I must leave 
to others. In the meantime, it is my intention to per 
suade any one merely to follow my propositions, or 
even to flatter me with the hope that he will do so ; 
but attacks, repetitions, limitations, or confirmation, 
completion, and extension, as the case may be, should 
be appended. If the matter be but investigated from 
its foundation, it cannot fail that a system, albeit not 
my own, shall be erected, that shall be a possession 
for future generations for which they may have reason 
to be grateful. 

It would lead us too far here to show what kind of 
metaphysics may be expected, when only the princi 
ples of criticism have been perfected, and how, be 
cause the old false feathers have been pulled out, she 
need by no means appear poor and reduced to an in 
significant figure, but may be in other respects richly 
and respectably adorned. But other and great uses 
which would result from such a reform, strike one im 
mediately. The ordinary metaphysics had its uses, 
in tnat it sought out the elementary conceptions of 
the pure understanding in order to make them clear 
through analysis, and definite by explanation. In this 
way it was a training for reason, in whatever direction 
it might be turned; but this was all the good it did; 
service was subsequently effaced when it favored con 
ceit by venturesome assertions, sophistry by subtle 
distinctions and adornment, and shallowness by the 
ease with which it decided the most difficult problems 
by means of a little school-wisdom, which is only the 
more seductive the more it has the choice, on the one 


hand, of taking something from the language of sci 
ence, and on the other from that of popular discourse, 
thus being everything to everybody, but in reality 
nothing at all. By criticism, however, a standard is 
given to our judgment, whereby knowledge may be 
with certainty distinguished from pseudo-science, and 
firmly founded, being brought into full operation in 
metaphysics ; a mode of thought extending by degrees 
its beneficial influence over every other use of reason, 
at once infusing into it the true philosophical spirit. 
But the service also that metaphysics performs for 
theology, by making it independent of the judgment 
of dogmatic speculation, thereby assuring it com 
pletely against the attacks of all such opponents, is 
certainly not to be valued lightly. For ordinary meta 
physics, although it promised the latter much advan 
tage, could not keep this promise, and moreover, by 
summoning speculative dogmatics to its assistance, 
did nothing but arm enemies against itself. Mysti 
cism, which can prosper in a rationalistic age only 
when it hides itself behind a system of school-meta 
physics, under the protection of which it may venture 
to rave with a semblance of rationality, is driven from 
this, its last hiding-place, by critical philosophy. Last, 
but not least, it cannot be otherwise than important 
to a teacher of metaphysics, to be able to say with 
universal assent, that what he expounds is Science, 
and that thereby genuine services will be rendered to 
the commonweal. 




T)HILOSOPHY is frequently regarded as idle ver- 
L biage ; and the great mass of the average produc 
tions of this branch of human endeavor would seem 
to justify the statement. Nevertheless, philosophy 
has exercised a paramount influence upon the history 
of mankind, for philosophy is the quintessence of 
man s conception of the world and the view he takes 
of the significance of life. While philosophical books, 
essays, lectures, and lessons may be intricate and long- 
winded, there is at the core of all the questions under 
discussion a public interest of a practical nature. The 
problems that have reference to it are, as a rule, much 
simpler and of more common application than is ap 
parent to an outsider, and all of them closely consid 
ered will be found to be of a religious nature. 


When we try to trace the erratic lines of the his 
tory of philosophy, the advance seems slow, but the 
results, meagre though they sometimes may be, can 
be summarised in brief statements. Thus the sophistic 
movement in Greece in contradistinction to the old 
naive naturalists, Thales, Anaximander, and Anaxi- 
menes, is characterised by the maxim : iraimoi/ fierpoi/ 
m>0pawros, [Man is the measure of all things], which is 
the simple solution of a series of intricate problems. 


In spite of its truth, it was misused by unscrupulous 
rhetoricians, who disgraced the profession of sophists 
and degraded the noble name of their science, called 
Sophia, i. e., wisdom, to such an extent that the term 
< sophist " became an epithet of opprobrium. Socrates 
Opposed the sophists, but in all theoretical points he 
Vvas one ol them. There was only this difference, 
that he insisted on the moral nature of man and thus 
became the noblest exponent of the sophistic prin 
ciple. It indicates a new departure that he changed 
the name sophia to philosophia or philosophy, i. e., love 
of wisdom, which was universally accepted as more 
modest and better becoming to the teachers and spir 
itual guides of mankind. While he granted that man 
is the measure of all things, he pointed out the duty 
of investigating the nature of man, and he selected 
the Delphic maxim : yv&Qi o-tavrov, "know thyself," as 
a motto for his life. It would lead us too far to show 
how Plato worked out the Socratic problem of the hu 
man soul, which led him to a recognition of the sig 
nificance of forms, as expressed in his doctrine of 
ideas, and how Aristotle applied it to natural science. 
The Neo-Platonists developed Plato s mystical and 
supernatural tendencies and prepared thereby for the 
rise of a dualistic religion. 

When Christianity became a dominating power in 
the world, philosophy disappeared for a while, being 
replaced by the belief in a divine revelation as the 
sole source of all wisdom ; but in the Middle Ages 
philosophy was revived as scholasticism, the impulse 
to the movement being due to the revival of Aristote- 
lianism, through an acquaintance with the writings of 
cultured Arabian sages. 

In the era of scholasticism we have two authori- 


ties, Revelation and Science, the former conceived to 
be identical with the verdicts of the Church, the latter 
being a blind acceptance of a second-hand and much 
distorted" knowledge of the philosopher s works. The 
Platonic problem of the eternal types of things was 
revived, and Nominalists and Realists contended with 
one another on the question of the reality of ideas. In 
their methods, however, these two conflicting schools 
were on the same level, for both were in the habit of 
appealing to certain authorities. With them proof 
consisted in quotations either of church doctrines or 
of passages from Aristotle. There was no genuine 
science, no true philosophy, the efforts of the age 
consisting in vain attempts at reconciling the two 
conflicting sources of their opinions. 

Modern philosophy is a product of the awakening 
spirit of science, beginning with Descartes who pro 
posed to introduce method into philosophy, as ex 
pressed in his Discourse on Method. He abolished the 
implicit belief in book authority. Falling back upon 
the facts of life, he bethought himself of the signifi 
cance of Man s thinking faculty, and so, starting again 
from the subjective position of the sophists, he defined 
his solution of the basic problem with great terseness 
in the sentence : Cogito ergo sum, [I think, therefore 
I am]. 

The latest phase in philosophy begins with Kant, 
and it is his immortal merit to have gone to the bot 
tom of the philosophical problem by reducing its diffi 
culties to a system. In the Cartesian syllogism he 
saw a fallacy if it was interpreted to mean "Cogito 
ergo ego sum. " 

The subject ego, implied in "sum" is implicitly 
contained in " cogito," and thus if the sentence is 


meant to prove the existence of a metaphysical ego, 
the argument is a fallacy, being merely a deduction 
derived from the assumption that the ego does the 

In spite of its syllogistic form the sentence was 
not meant as a syllogism but as a statement of fact. 
Kant s objection, however, holds good in either case, 
for though the thinking be a fact, it is an assumption 
to take for granted that the thinker is an ego, i. e., a 
soul-entity that exists independently of its thinking. 
Lichtenberg therefore said that we ought to replace 
the sentence "/ think" by "it thinks." Yet even if 
we allow the statement " I think" to pass, the ques 
tion arises : What do we understand by "/"? Is it a 
collective term for all the thought-processes that take 
place in one and the same personality, or is there a 
separate soul-being which does the thinking and con 
stitutes the personality? In other words, the exist 
ence of the thinking subject, called the /, does riot 
imply that it is a spiritual thing in itself, nor even 
that it constitutes a unity. 

Mystic tendencies of a religious nature such as 
found a classical exposition in Kant s contemporary 
and namesake, Emanuel Swedenborg, rendered some 
of the problems of philosophy more complicated by 
laying special stress upon the difference between mat 
ter and spirit, and discussing the possibility and prob 
able nature of purely spiritual beings; but all philoso 
phising on the subject consisted in declamations and 
unproved propositions. 

Wolf, a clear-headed thinker, though void of origi 
nality, reduced the metaphysical notions from Aris 
totle down to the eighteenth century into an elaborate 


system, and thus became to Kant the typical exponent 
of dogmatism. 

In contrast to the metaphysical school, the sen 
sualists had risen. They are best represented by 
Locke who denied the existence of innate ideas (ex 
cept the idea of causation) and tried to prove that all 
abstract thought had its origin in sensation. Hume, 
taking offence even at the claims of causation as a 
necessary connexion, declared that, accustomed to 
the invariable sequence of cause and effect, we mis 
take our subjective necessity of thinking them to 
gether for an objective necessity, which remains un 
proved. Thus he turned skeptic and gave by his 
doubts regarding the objective validity of causation 
as a universal principle and a metaphysical truth the 
suggestion to Kant to investigate the claims of all 
metaphysics, of which the notion of causality is only 
a part. 

Here Kant s philosophical reform set in, which 
consists in rejecting both the skepticism of Hume and 
the dogmatism of Wolf and in offering a new solution 
which he called criticism. 

Kant took the next step in seeking for the prin 
ciple that determined all thinking, and discovered it 
in the purely formal laws of thought, which in their 
complete unity constitute pure reason. The investi 
gation of the conditions of thought, he called "criti 
cism." He insisted that the dogmatical declamations 
of all the various systems of metaphysics were idle 
and useless talk. He said they were vain attempts at 
building a mighty tower that would reach to Heaven. 
But at the same time he claimed to prove that the 
supply of building materials was after all sufficient for 


a dwelling-house spacious enough for the needs of life 
aud high enough to survey the field of experience. 1 

In place of the old metaphysics which used to de 
rive from pure concepts a considerable amount of 
pretended knowledge concerning God, the world, and 
man, concerning substance, as the substratum of ex 
istence, the soul, the future state of things, and im 
mortality, Kant drew up an inventory of the posses 
sions of Pure Reason and came to the conclusion that 
all knowledge of purely formal thought is in itself 
empty and that sense-experience in itself is blind ; the 
two combined form the warp and woof of experience, 
which alone can afford positive information concern 
ing the nature of objects. Empirical knowledge of 
the senses furnishes the material, while formal thought 
supplies the method by which perceptions can be or 
ganised and systematised into knowledge. Kant s aim 
was not to produce glittering generalities, but to offer 
critique, that is to say, a method of, and norm for, 
scientific thought ; and he said, conscious of the sig 
nificance of his philosophy: 

"This much is certain, that whoever has once tasted critique 
will be ever after disgusted with all dogmatical twaddle." 

Dogmatism in metaphysics is the dragon which 
Kant slew. But Kant s criticism was not purely nega 
tive. He recognised in the world as an undeniable 
fact the demand of the moral "ought" which he called 
"the categorical imperative," and while he insisted 
upon the determinism of natural law he would not 
deny the freedom of the will establishing it upon 

1 See Critique of Pure Reason in the chapter "Transcendental Doctrine ol 
Method," Max Mullet s translation, p. 567, Meicklejohn s, p. 431, original 
edition, p. 707. 


man s moral responsibility. He declared : "I shall, 
therefore I can." 


Kant, the son of simple but rigorously pious parents 
of Scotch extraction, lived at Konigsberg in Prus 
sia under the rule of Frederick the Great. 1 His moral 
sense was stern and unalloyed with sentimentality. 
He never married, and his relation to his relatives 
was regulated strictly according to his views of duty. 2 
In his philosophy as well as in his private life he was 
duty incarnate. While he had imbibed the sense of 
duty that characterises the system of education in 
Prussia, he was also swayed by the ideals of liberty 
and fraternity so vigorously brought to the front by 
the French revolution. 8 His influence on the German 
nation, on science, religion, and even politics cannot 
be underrated, although his ideas did not reach the 
people directly in the form he uttered them, but only 
indirectly through his disciples, the preachers, teach 
ers, and poets of the age. His main works which em 
body the gist of his peculiar doctrines are the Critique 
of Pure Reason, the Critique of Practical Reason, and 
the Critique of Judgment. Among them the Critique 

IFor a good condensed statement of Kant s life see page 245 of this vol 
ume, where Professor Windelband s account is reproduced. For a convenient 
chronological table of the data of Kant s life and publications see pages 287- 
291 of the present volume. 

have had reproduced at p. 285 of this volume a specimen of Kant s 
handwriting, a letter of his to his brother, plainly characterising his business 
like conception of duty which regulated his life with machine-like preci 

SHeinrich Heine described Kant to the French most drastically in an 
essay on German philosophy, of which an English translation has been re 
printed in this volume at page 264. 



of Pure Reason is by far the most important one. 1 It 
is a pity that the Critique of Pure Reason, from the 
appearance of which the historian dates the beginning 
of the latest period in the evolution of philosophy, is 
a ponderous and almost unintelligible work, a book 
with seven seals to the average reader; and it might 
have remained ineffectual had not Kant been necessi 
tated to rectify this defect by giving to the public a 
popular explanation concerning his intentions. 

The Critique of Pure Reason was published in 1781. 
In the Gottingenschen Gelehrten Anzeigen of January 
19, 1782, there appeared a review of the book, written 
by Garve and modified by Feder, which irritated Kant 
considerably, because the review treated his criticism 
as a revival of Berkeley s idealism, which was com 
monly regarded as pure subjectivism. 2 There is no 
need here of protesting in Berkeley s name against 
this interpretation of his philosophy, for we are con 
cerned here with Kant, not with Berkeley. But even 
Kant misunderstood Berkeley, 8 and for our present 

1 A splendid analysis of the three Critiques is given by Prof. A. Weber in 
his History of Philosophy, translated from the fifth French edition by Prof. 
Frank Tilly, pp. 436-472. We have reprinted part of this analysis at p. 250. 

The compilation of Kant s philosophy in a Kantlexikon by Gustav Wegner 
(Berlin, 1893) is not very serviceable. The book is unhandy and lacks the 
main requisite of a lexicon, a good index. 

The exposition of Kant s philosophy by G. H. Lewes in his Biographical 
History of Philosophy is an excellent sketch and worth a careful perusal. But 
Lewes leaves the problem where Kant left it, saying : "There is, in truth, no 
necessity in causation, except the necessity of our belief in it." But whence 
does this necessity come, and what is its authority ? 

5 Garve s letter to Kant and Kant s answer contain the whole material of 
the history of this garbled review. They are interesting reading but mainly 
of a personal nature, consisting of explanations, excuses, and polite words. 
For a reproduction of this correspondence see Reclaim s text edition of Kant s 
Prolegomena, Appendix, pp. 214-230. 

For a condensed statement of Berkeley s idealism see Thomas J. Mc- 
Cormack s preface to Berkeley s Treatise Concerning the Principle* ef Human 
Knowledge, Chicago, The Open Court Pub. Co., 1901, especially pp. XU-KIT. 


purpose it is sufficient to say that Berkeley s idealism 
meant to Kant and bis contemporaries pure subjec 

Kant was irritated because his philosophy was dis 

posed of as an old error, a method which (as P^ulsen 
says) has been developed into a regular system among 
a certain class of Roman Catholic critics who regard 
{lie possibilities of philosophising as. exhausted ir/ ihe 


history of philosophy. Claiming to be in possession 
of the whole truth, they are naturally disinclined to 
believe that new truths can be brought to light. Thus 
they have developed the habit of associating every 
new idea with some one of the systems of the past 
which to them are nothing but a catalogus errorum, 
and serve them as so many coffins in which to bury 
any doctrine that does not receive their approbation. 

Kant s indignation was perhaps exaggerated, for 
he ought to have considered the difficulty of under 
standing a doctrine that was at the same time utterly 
new and presented in a most unattractive, pedantical 
form ; but the result was happy, for he felt urged to 
write a popular explanation of his work, to offset 
Garve s misconception, which would serve the reader 
as Prolegomena, i. e , as prefatory remarks to the Cri 
tique of Pure Reason. 

These Prolegomena insist on the newness of Kant s 
proposition and emphasise his adhesion to realism (or 
the doctrine that the objective world is actual) in con 
trast to the subjectivism of Berkeley, or what was sup 
posed to be Berkeley. At the same time they possess 
the charm of wonderful vigor and directness. Here 
Kant does not write in the pedantic, dignified style 
of a professor, but with the boldness of a resentful 
author who, conscious of his title to careful considera 
tion and believing himself to be wrongly criticised, is 
anxious to be properly understood by the public. 

While the Critique of Pure Reason is synthetic, the 
Prolegomena are (as says Kant himself) analytic. In 
the Critique of Pure Reason Kant discourses as one 
who speaks ex cathedra, sitting in the professorial 
chair; he propounds his doctrine deductively, and I 

1 See Friedrich Paulsen s Kant, p. 229. 


for one can very well understand that his expositions 
appear to an uninitiated reader bewilderingly orac 
ular. In the Prolegomena his style is not stilted but 
rather careless and though his periods are long they 
are fluent and easily understood. 


The main difficulty of understanding Kant, to later 
generations, and also to foreigners not to the manner 
born as regards the German vernacular, lies in his 
terminology. Simple though his terms are when once 
understood, they afford unsurmountable difficulties to 
those who are not familiar with their significance. 

Familiarity with the following terms is indispen 
sable for a comprehension of Kant: " metaphysics "; 
understanding" and "reason"; "empirical" and 
"experience"; "noumenon" and " phenomenon "; 
a priori and a posteriori , "transcendental" and "tran 
scendent" ; and "intuition" or Anschauung. 

First, above all, there is the term "metaphysics," 
which is the science of first principles. Aristotle, who 
discusses the subject of ap\ai, or first principles, in 
books placed after the physical treatises (hence the 
name ra /nera ra <v<ri*a, sc. f!t/3\ia, corrupted into meta 
physics), calls it First Philosophy, i. e., the Essence 
or basis of Philosophy, and identifies it with Theol 
ogy, because he finds in God the ultimate raison d etre 
of all metaphysical concepts such as being and be 
coming, space and time, multiplicity and unity, things 
and the world, cause and effect, substance and qual 
ity, God and soul and immortality. 

Kant defines metaphysics as : 

"A system of all the principles of pure theo 
retical reason-cognition ( Vernunfttrkenntniss) in 


concepts, briefly the system of pure theoretical 
philosophy." l 

In another place Kant (IV., p. 236) speaks of 
metaphysics simply as "pure philosophy limited to 
the objects of the understanding," a definition which 
almost identifies it with Logic. 2 He insists that meta 
physics is based upon man s faculty of thinking and 
not pure imagination. Being a priori, it deals witli^ 
the acts of pure thought, which reduce the manifold j 
sense-impressions to unity bylaw. (Vol. IV., p. 362.) 

The sources of metaphysics are limited by Kant 
to the a priori (Vol. IV., p. 13); its possibility stands 
and falls with the possibility of synthetical judgments 
a priori (Vol. IV., p. 14); pre-Kantian metaphysics 
is declared to be uncritical and unscientific (IV., p. 
23); as a science metaphysics must be a systematic 
presentation of all a priori concepts, including above 
all the synthetical propositions of man s philosophical 
cognition; and its final purpose (IV., p. 19) consists 
in the cognition of the Supreme Being as well as of 
the life to come (die zukiinftige Welt}. The latter 
expression had perhaps better be replaced by the 
broader idea of the mundus intelligibility the intelligible 
world, constituting the purely formal in contrast to 
the material, the Platonic ideas or types of things as 
distinguished from their accidental relations in space 
and time, exhibiting the abiding in the transcient and 
thus making it possible to view the world (as Spinoza 
has it) under the aspect of eternity, sub specie ceterni. 

Kant started a new line of investigation and kept 
in view his main aim. So it was natural that he did 

ld. Hartenstein, Vol. VIII., p. 521. 

2 Logic is defined by Kant (IV., p. 236) as " the pure philosophy which is 
purely formal." 


not feel the need of certain discriminations before his 
work was pretty well advanced. This accounts for a 
few inaccuracies in the use of his terminology, cover 
ing the terms "understanding," "reason," and "ex 
perience." He distinguishes in his Prolegomena be 
tween reason and understanding, but the discrimination 
is by no means thoroughly carried out. Theunder- 
standing is defined as the use of the categories, and 
reason tne taculty ot forming ideas^ The understand- 
in g~liZc^r^in^TyTe^re^ntsthe logical functions, and 
reason the domain of abstractions and generalisations. 
The understanding draws conclusions and attends to 
the machinery of thinking, reason seeks oneness in 
plurality, aims at a systematical comprehension of 
things apparently different and establishes laws to ex 
plain the variety of phenomena by one common rule. 

By "empirical" Kant understood all those judg 
ments that contain sensory elements. They were either 
mereTperceptions, i. e., a taking cognisance of sense- 
impressions, or experience, i. e. , the product of 
thought and perceptions, resulting in empirical state 
ments that are universally valid. 1 

The contrast of perceptions, as the sense-woven 
pictures of things, and ideas or the mind-begotten 
concepts of them, is expressed in the two terms 
"phenomenon" or appearance, and "noumenon" or 
thought. Kant translates the former by the word Sin- 
neswesen, i. e. , creature of the senses, and the latter 
by the word Gedankcnwescn, i. e., creature of thought. 2 

1 That Kant s use of the term " experience " was not always consistent I 
have endeavored to explain elsewhere. See Printer of Philosophy, pp. 30 ft. 

2 Pronounce no-comenon % not noomenon. The original Greek reads voov- 
ficpov. The ou in the German transcription, "No-umetton " was misinterpreted 
as a French ou; hence the erroneous pronunciation of some English lexicog 
raphers as " noomenon." 


Noumenon should not mean " thing in itself," as 
which it is actually used by Kant contrary to his own 
definition, but man s subjective conception of the 
thing in itself. If the phenomenon is subjective ap 
pearance, the noumenon, far from being objective, 
is, according to Kant, still more subjective, being a 
mere subjective digest of the materials furnished by 
the subjective phenomenon. The term "noumenon," 
however, is not limited to its original meaning. Kant 
understands by it, not only the subjective concept of 
things, but also the objective thing in itself." 

The terms a priori and a posteriori are of special 
significance. They mean " before" and "afterwards," 
but we must bear in mind that they should be under 
stood, not as a temporal succession, but in a logical 
sense. A priori cognitions are the principles which 
the naturalist uses in his investigations; but his in 
vestigations themselves, consisting of sense-experi 
ence, are a posteriori. Before he begins his investiga 
tion, the naturalist must know that 2X2=4, that there 
can be no effect without a cause, that he can rely on 
the rule of three and on the syllogisms of logic. The 
knowledge of these truths is the condition of science, 
and all these truths are universal, i. e., they apply to 
all possible cases. A priori knowledge has developed 
through the practice of sense-experience. Indeed, 
sense-experience came first in temporal order ; but 
sense-impressions would forever remain a mass of iso 
lated things were they not systematised with the as 
sistance of a priori principles. 

A priori does not mean innate, for neither mathe"^"| 
matics, nor arithmetic, nor logic is innate; but the 
theorems of these sciences can be deduced in our 
thoughts without calling upon sense-experience to aid 


us. Innate ideas would mean inherited notions, like 
the instincts of animals. The characteristic feature 
of a priori conceptions is not that we know them well 
nor that we find them ready-made in our minds, but 
that they have a universal application and are there 
fore necessary truths. 

The contrast between a priori and a posteriori 
truths is easily explained when we consider that the 
former are purely formal, the latter sensory. The for 
mer therefore cannot give us any information concern 
ing the substance, the matter, the thingish nature of 
things (as Kant expresses it, "they are empty"), but 
they can be used for determining the relations and 
forms of things, and this renders them uniquely valu 
able, for science is nothing but a tracing of the changes 
of form, an application of the laws of form, a measur 
ing, a weighing, a counting ; and their paramount im 
portance appears in this that our knowledge of the 
laws of form will in consideration of their universal 
validity, result in the possibility of predetermining 
future modifications under given conditions. 

There are two synonyms of a priori, the word 
"pure" and the term "transcendental." 

Reason unalloyed with notions derived from sense- 
experience, and therefore limited to conceptions a pri 
ori, is called pure reason. "Transcendental" means 
practically the same as pure and a priori. By tran 
scendental discourses Kant understands those which 
transcend experience and consider its a priori condi 
tions. Thus, transcendental logic is pure logic in so 
far as pure logic is the condition of applied logic. 
Transcendental psychology is the doubtful domain of 
abstract notions concerning the unity of the ego, its 
substantiality and permanence, etc. Transcendental 


cosmology consists of the ideas of existence in gene 
ral and the universe in particular. Then the questions 
arise as to the world s infinitude or limitedness, its 
eternity or beginning and end. Further, whether or 
not causality is absolute, viz., is there contingency 
only, or is an uncaused will possible? Here the oracle 
of pure reason fails and Kant formulates the result in 
his strange doctrine of contradictions, or, as he calls 
it, antinomies of pure reason. 

Transcendental cosmology, transcendental psy 
chology, transcendental theology, are not sciences, 
but the dreams of metaphysics. As such they tran 
scend experience to the extent of becoming hazy. 
They cease to be accessible to comprehension and are 
then in Kant s terminology called " transcendent. " 

Mark the difference between the two terms : the 
word "transcendental" denotes the subjective condi 
tions of all experience, consisting in the recognition 
of such truisms as logical, arithmetical, and geometri 
cal theorems, which are the clearest, most indisput 
able, and most unequivocal notions we have. Tran 
scendent, however, means that which lies beyond the 
ken of all possible knowledge within the nebulous do 
main in which we can as well affirm as deny the pos 
sibility of assumptions. Consider at the same time 
that in the English language "transcendental" is a 
synonym of "transcendent," and the difference made 
by Kant has been slurred over by many of his exposi 
tors. What a heap of confusion resulted from this 
carelessness ! We need not wonder that his radical 
system of transcendental criticism was transformed 
into that uncritical metaphysicism, or dabbling in un 
warranted transcendental notions which Kant so vig 
orously and effectually combated. 


The confusion which English interpreters produced 
by their neglect of distinguishing between " transcen 
dent" and " transcendental" was increased by their 
misconception of the term Anschauung, which, being 
properly but not adequately translated by its Latin 
equivalent " intuition," became tinged with all the 
mysticism and metaphysicism of intuitionalism. "In 
tuition," according to the commonly accepted use of 
the word, means in the English as well as in German 
"the power of the mind by which it immediately per 
ceives the truth of things without reasoning or analy 
sis." As such intuitions signify not only the images 
of sense-perception, but also, and indeed mainly, ec 
static visions in which the soul is face to face with 
presences spiritual, supernal, or divine ; and thus it 
happened that under the guarantee of Kant s criticism 
the most extravagant speculations could gain admis 
sion to the philosophical world as genuine philosoph 
ical ideas. 

Anschauung, like the Latin intuitio, signifies the 
act of looking at an object ; it denotes the sensation of 
sight. However, its use is not restricted to sight, but 
extends to all sense-perception. The peculiar feature 
of sense-perception consists in its directness and im 
mediate appearance in our organs of sense as sensa 
tion. When we look at a tree we do not argue ; we 
simply see the tree. We need not know anything 
about the physical processes that take place both 
outside in the domain of ether-waves which are re 
flected on the sighted object, and within our eye 
where the lens produces an image that is thrown upon 
the surface of the retina, in the same way in which 
the photographer s camera produces a picture on the 
sensitive plate. The picture seen is the result of the 


process, and all epistemological considerations are 
after-thoughts. The same is true of all sensations. 
Sensations, though the result of complicated pro 
cesses, are given facts; they are the data of experi 
ence and there is no argument in them, no reasoning, 
no deliberation, no hesitation, as to their truth; they 
are the realities of life, and from them we construct 
our notions of the world in which we live. 

It is a pity that we have not a Saxon equivalent 
for the German Anschauung. We might coin the word 
11 atsight," which (in contrast to insight) would de 
note the act of perceiving a sighted object ; but the 
word, in order to make the same impression, ought 
to be current, which the term atsight is not. The 
translation intuition" is admissible only on the con 
dition that we exclude from it all mystical notions of 
subjective visions and define it as visualised percep 
tion. There are passages where Anschauung is an ex 
act synonym for "sense-experience" or "perception," 
and we might translate it thus were it not for the ex 
tended use Kant makes of the term by speaking of 
reinc Anschauung, meaning thereby the pure forms of 
sense-experience which are as much immediate data 
of perception as are the sense-elements of sensation. 

If we had to recast the exposition of Kant s phi 
losophy we could avoid the term "pure intuition" 
and replace it by the pure forms of sense-experience, 
but if we would render Kant in his own words we can 
not do so. The translator must reproduce Kant in 
his own language, and thus must either invent a new 
word such as atsight, or must cling to the traditional 
term intuition.^ 

1 Mr. Kroeger c proposition, made in tha Journal a/ Speculation Philo*- 
epky, II., p. 191, to translate Anschauung by contemplation eaoia inadmis- 



The contrasts in Kant s terminology, a priori and 
a posteriori, formal and material, pure reason and ex 
perience, etc., do not yet imply the conclusion at 
which he arrives, the main result being the ideality of 
space and time and of all pure forms of thought. 
Kant was led to it by a strange fallacy, the error of 
which we intend to trace in the subsequent pages. 

First let us try to understand the point of view 
which Kant took. 

The pure form of our sense-perception is the rela 
tional in the domain of sensory elements, viz., their 
juxtaposition, or space, and their succession, or time, 
their shape, their causal intercatenation, etc. 

In his discourse on the pure forms of sense-per 
ception (called "Transcendental ^Esthetics"), Kant 
points out first of space, then of time, that they are 
notions which are : 

1. Insuppressible (viz., we can think or assume in 
thought the non-existence of all objects, but not cf 
space or time). 

2. Necessary a priori (viz., they are of universal 
application and transcendental, i. e., the condition of 
all sense-perceptions.) 

3. Unique (viz., there is but one space and one 
time; all spaces, so called, are parts only of, or rooni 
in, that one space; and different times are periods o 
that one time). 

4. Infinite (viz., all concrete objects are finite; 

sible. Compare for further details of the use of the word the author s pam 
phlet Kant and Spencer, pp. 76 ff. In the present translation of Kant s 
Prolegomena we have rendered it a few times by sense-perception and -visuali 
sation, but mostly by intuition, and have (wherever it is not translated by 
"intuition") alway added ii; parenthesis the German original. 


but time and space, not being concrete entities, are 

He concludes that space and time are not proper 
ties of objects as things-in-themselves, but the forms 
of their phenomenal existence. 

It is obviously a mistake to regard space and time 
as concrete objects. Infinite objects would be mon 
ster-existences the reality of which cannot but pass 
our comprehension. They are the forms of thing?, 
indispensable not only for their existence in general 
but also for determining their several individual and 
characteristic types ; for that which constitutes the 
difference of things, so far as science has been able to 
penetrate into the mysteries of being, is always due 
to a difference of form. Kant guardedly grants em 
pirical reality to space and time; he ascribes space 
and time to things as phenomena, and denies only 
their being properties of things as things-in-them 
selves. But he adds the explicit statement that space 
as well as time are. "the subjective conditions of the 
sensibility under which alone external intuition (An- 
schauung, \. e., sense-perception) becomes possible." 
Thus, Kant concludes space and time are a priori in 
tuitions; they do not belong to the external domain 
of reality or objectivity, but to the sphere of subjec 
tivity; and being forms of the sensibility of the in 
tuitive mind they are (says Kant) ideal. 

Kant does not deny the reality of things, but hav 
ing established the ideality of space and time he be 
lieves that, 

"If we regarded space and time as properties which must le 
found in objects as things-in-themselves, as sine quibus von c f 
the possibility of their existence, and reflect on the absurdities in 
which \ve then find our ^Ives involved, inasmuch as we are com- 


pelled to admit the existence of two infinite things, which are 
nevertheless not substances, nor anything really inhering in sub 
stances, nay, to admit that they are the necessary conditions of the 
existence of all things, and moreover, that they must continue to 
exist, although all existing things were annihilated, we cannot 
blame the good Berkeley for degrading bodies to mere illusory ap 
pearances. Nay, even or.r own existence which would in this case 
depend upon the self-existent reality of such a mere nonentity as 
time, would necessarily be changed with it into mere appearance 
an absurdity which no one has as yet been guilty of." 1 

Thus, Kant believes that if space and time were 
objective they would impart their ideality to the ob 
jective world and change it to mere appearance; by 
conceiving space and time (and in addition to the 
forms of our sensibility also the forms of our think 
ing) as purely ideal, viz., as subjective properties of 
the mind, he assures us that the world, our own ex 
istence included, will be saved from the general col 
lapse which it otherwise in his opinion must suffer. 


The development of Kant s theory of the ideality 
of space and time coincides with his investigation of 
Swedenborg s philosophy, if that word be applicable 
to a world-conception which afterwards was denom 
inated by Kant himself as "dreams of a visionary." 
Swedenborgians claim that Kant was influenced by 
Swedenborg in the formulation of his critical ideal 
ism ; and Mr. Albert J. Edmunds discusses the sub 
ject in an article which appeared in the New Church 
Review, Vol. IV., No. 2, under the title: Time and 
Space: Hints Given by Swedenborg to KanL While it 
appears that there is less borrowing on the part of 
Kant than can be made out by Swedenborg s adher- 

1 Critique of Pure Reason, Supplement VI. of 2nd edition. 


ents, there is more justice in the claim of Sweden- 
borg s influence over Kant than seems to be palatable 
to such Kant scholars as is Professor Vaihinger. 
Frank Sewall, the editor of the New Church Review, 
goes over the field in an article entitled : Kant ana 
Swedenborg on Cognition, in which he makes out a 
good case scarcely less favorable for Swedenborg than 
does Edmunds. The fact is that the mystical ideas 
on space and time which permeate religious thought 
had their effect on Swedenborg as much as on other 
thinkers, mystics as well as philosophers, and among 
the latter, on Kant ; and certain formulations of the 
problem which can be found in Swedenborg, did not 
strike Kant as much as may appear by a mere com 
parison of the passages. 

Mr. Edmunds quotes the following passages from 
Leibnitz, on space and time : 

"Since space in itself is an ideal thing like time, it must nec 
essarily follow that space outside the world is imaginary, as even 
the schoolmen have acknowledged it to be. The same is the case 
with empty space in the world which I still believe to be imagin 
ary, for the reasons which I have set forth." (V. 33.) 

" There is no space at all where there is no matter." (V. 62.) 

"Space . . . is something ideal." (V. 104.) 

" The immensity of God is independent of space, as the eter 
nity of God is independent of time." (V. 106.) 

"Had there been no creatures, space and time would only 
have existed in the ideas of God." (Paper IV. 41.) 

Here Leibnitz uses the very word "ideal," of both 
space and time. Incidentally we must add that natu 
ralists of to-day will no longer countenance Leibnitz s 
view of the non-existence of empty space. 

There is even the religious mysticism displayed by 
Leibnitz which makes God independent of space and 
time. Swedenborg says the same about the angels : 


"The angels have no idea of time. Such is the case in the 
world of spirits and still more perfectly in heaven : how much 
more before the Lord." (Arcana Ccelestia, 1274.) 

It is a fact that Kant had read Swedenborg, but 
the coincidences as to the ideality of space and time 
and the theory of cognition are trivial as compared 
with the coincidences with former philosophers, such 
as Leibnitz. The truth is, we have in Swedenborg 
the type of a religious thinker who formulates his 
conception of space and time and other metaphysical 
doctrines in the shape of mystical allegories, after the 
fashion of Jacob Boehme and other religious vision 
aries. It is wrong on the one side to overestimate his 
mystical expressions, which are commonplace among 
authors of his ilk, and, on the other hand, to ridicule 
them as purely visionary, devoid of philosophical 
value. It is characteristic of the human mind at a 
certain stage of its development to formulate in mys 
tical language philosophical conceptions which lie 
beyond the grasp of the intellect of that peculiar stage 
of growth. It is the religious attitude of approaching 
philosophical problems in niyst : cal expressions. While 
it is natural for a scientist to ridicule the mystic for 
claiming to have solved the world-problem though 
producing nothing but air-bubbles, it is at the same 
time a one-sidedness to see in mysticism nothing but 
wild and worthless hallucinations. Mysticism is a 
solution of the world-problem by sentiment, and it 
affords the great advantage of determining and estab 
lishing the moral attitude of its devotees. Considered 
as science it is absolutely worthless, considered as a 
guide in life its worth is determined by the spirit of 
which it is born. Where the religious sentiment i; 
serious, deep, and noble, mysticism will find a poeti- 


cal expression full of significance, depth, and aspira 
tion. Kant as a religious man was attracted by Swe- 
denborg, but when he weighed his revelations as phi 
losophy he was so disappointed that he felt ashamed 
of having been caught among the credulous investi 
gators of occult phenomena. 

Swedenborg is one of the most representative mys 
tics, and while his books may be worthless as philo 
sophical treatises, they are not only interesting to the 
scientist because typical of a certain phase in the reli 
gious development of human nature, but also classi 
cal as mystical literature. The appreciation which he 
has found among a number of adherents proves too 
well how deeply his way of presenting metaphysical 
problems in the shape of allegorical dreams is founded 
in the peculiar constitution of man s spiritual system. 
Those who took the trouble to investigate his miracles 
and prophecies found that, however much might be 
surmised, nothing could be definitely proved, except 
the fact that there are people of fair and sometimes 
even extraordinary intelligence who have a decided 
inclination to believe in occult phenomena, that they, 
though subjectively honest, can easily become con 
vinced of things which they are anxious to believe, 
and finally that in minds where a vivid imagination 
checks the development of critical acumen, the poeti 
cal conceptions of religious faith grow so definite and 
concrete as to become indistinguishable from actual 
life and reality. 

Now, what are the lessons of the relation of mysti 
cism to science? 

We ought to consider that certain metaphysical 
truths (as to the nature of space, time, our mode of 
cognition, causation, infinity, eternity, etc.), when 


stated in abstract formulas, seem dry and unmeaning 
to unscientific minds, yet they possess a deep religious 
significance which finds allegorical expression in the 
various religious systems in myths, ceremonial insti 
tutions, and dogmas. By sensual natures who cling 
to the allegorical feature of the allegory, they can be 
appreciated only if they are expressed in a sensual 
way, if spiritual truths are told in parables of concrete 
instances as if they were material facts of the material 
world. It is characteristic of mystical minds to live 
in an atmosphere of sensual symbolism in such a way 
that they believe their own dreams, and their assur 
ance makes their statement so convincing that they 
easily find followers among those who are kin to them 
in their mental constitution. As soon as a critical 
reader tries to verify the statements of such men, he 
finds himself irritated by a heap of worthless evidence, 
and the result is an indignation such as Kant showed 
after his perusal of Swedenborg s Arcana. 

The following summarised statement of Sweden 
borg s world-conception is given by Kant in his Essay 
on Swcdenborg, which appeared in 1766 : l 

" Each human soul has in this life its place in the spirit-world, 
and belongs to a certain society, -which in every case is in harmony 
with its internal condition of truth and good, that is, of under 
standing and will. But the location of spirits among themselves 
has nothing in common with space in the material world. The 
soul of one man, therefore, in India can be next-door neighbor to 
that of another in Europe, so far as spiritual position is con 
cerned; while those who, as to the body, live in one house, may 
I e quite far enough distant from one another as to those [that is, 
spiritual] conditions. When man dies his soul does not change its 
place, but only perceives itself in the same wherein, with regard 
to other spirits, it already was in this life. Besides, although the 

1 We quote from Mr. Albert J Edmunds s essay in the New Church Review, 
Vol. IV., p. a6i. 


mutual relation of spirits is not in real space, yet it has to them the 
appearance of space, and their relations are represented, with their 
accompanying conditions, as nearnesses; their differences as dis 
tances, even as the spirits themselves have not really extension, 
yet present to one another the appearance of a human form. In 
this imaginary space there is a plenary community of spiritual 
natures. Swedenborg speaks with departed souls whenever he 
pleases, etc." 

Now, if we comprehend that besides the causal 
connexion of things in space and time there is a logical 
interrelation which appertains to pure reason, we shall 
come to the conclusion that Swedenborg s ideas are 
quite legitimate, if they are but understood to be poet 
ical and if we are permitted to conceive them in a 
strictly scientific sense. We read : 

" The soul of one man in India can be next-door neighbor to 
that of another in Europe so far as spiritual position is concerned; 
while those who as to the body live in one house may be quite far 
enough distant from one another as to those (that is, spiritual) 

Now, it is obvious that this sympathy of souls, 
which is not according to space and time, but accord 
ing to spiritual kinship, is quite legitimate and very 
important to those who understand it. The sensual 
man will find difficulty in grasping its significance, ex 
cept that it be stated to him in a sensual way. Ob 
viously, it is true that "spirits themselves have not 
really extension." Their interrelation is of a different 
kind. But if we imagine them, as Swedenborg does, 
"to present to one another the appearance of a hu 
man form," we conceive of their existence as though 
it were in space, another kind of space than that filled 
by matter, and "in this imaginary space there is a 
plenary community of spiritual natures." Thus logi 
cians represent the interrelation between genus and 


species by geometrical figure, the one including the 

Swedenborg is simply a man whose imagination is 
so vivid and whose scientific criticism is so little de 
veloped that the imaginary space invented to repre 
sent the interrelations of spiritual realities which are 
in neither space nor time, becomes an actual space 
to him ; his spirits become materialised shapes, and 
thus it happens that he can speak "with departed 
souls whenever he pleases." A scientist too, a his 
torian or a naturalist, can consult the wisdom of the 
departed spirits. He can make himself acquainted 
with the views of Newton, of Goethe, of Kant; he 
can incorporate their souls in his own being, but being 
of a critical nature, he will not see them as bodily 
shapes. It is characteristic of mystics that their im 
agination outruns their sobriety, and thus the flights 
of their fancy become real to them. 

While it is not impossible that Swedenborg be 
came the fulcrum on which Kant elaborated his meta 
physics, we may at the same time justify the oppo 
site statement that Kant s relation to Swedenborg is 
purely incidental and without significance. The elab 
oration of his theories as to space and time and cogni 
tion, Kant made at the time when he read Sweden- 
borg s works, but we must be aware of the fact that 
Kant was familiar with mystic views in general, and 
Swedenborg s expressions did not strike him as much 
as it might appear to those who compare Swedenborg 
and Kant only, but have no reference to Leibnitz and 
other thinkers. Certainly, Kant would have come to 
the same conclusion if he had dealt with any other 
thinker of a similar type, Jacob Boehme, or even 
spirits on a lower level in the line of mysticism. 


While Kant s statements show a certain resem 
blance to those of S\vedenborg, we find that their 
agreement with Leibnitz (a philosopher whom both 
Immanuels, the great mystic as well as the great 
critic, had studied carefully) is much closer. We shall 
at the same time understand why Kant exhibited a de 
cided contempt and scorn for the dreamy haziness of 
these visionaries, which, when dealing with scientific 
problems, is sterile and unprofitable. In contrasting 
the philosophical study of metaphysics with those 
vague fancies of religio-philosophical dreams, Kant 
compared the latter to the intangible shade of a de 
parted spirit, quoting Virgil s well-known verses where 
Mneas in the under-world tries to embrace the soul of 
his departed father, Anchises. 1 Kant says: 

" Metaphysics, with whom it is my destiny to be in love, offers 
two advantages, although I have but seldom been favored by her: 
the first is, to solve the problems which the investigating mind 
raises when it is on the track of the more hidden properties of 
things through reason. But here the result very frequently de 
ceives hope, and has also in this case escaped our longing hands. 
"Ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago, 
Par levibus ventis volucrique simillima somno." (VIRGIL.) 
[Thrice I tried to embrace and thrice it escaped me, the image, 
Airy and light as the wind, and to volatile dreams to be likened.] 


After this digression we revert to Kant s idealism 
And will now point out the result to which it leads. 

Kant, as we have seen, protests against being an 
idealist in the sense that the reality of the external 
world of objects or things be denied. His idealism 
insists only on the ideality of space and time ; and by 
ideality he understands subjectivity. But together 

, Book VI., Verses 701-702. 


with time and space all our forms of thought are as 
sumed to be purely ideal. Hence there is a rift rend 
ing asunder form and substance, thought and reality, 
representative image or phenomenon and the repre 
sented objects. We know phenomena, not noumena. 
Things in themselves are unknowable, for the laws of 
pure form have reference to appearances only. 

If purely formal thought has no objective value, it 
can be used merely to decide problems that lie within 
the range of experience the domain of appearance; 
but things in themselves, the domain of transcendent 
existence, lies without the pale of any possible knowl 

Kant s method of dealing with these subjects is 
peculiar. He neither leaves them alone nor solves 
them, but formulates the affirmations as well as the 
negations of a series of contradictory statements in 
what he calls "the antinomies." Here the weakness 
of Kant s philosophy comes out, indicating that there 
must be a flaw in it somewhere. 

It is interesting to notice that as to Kant s Antino 
mies of Pure Reason the great Konigsberg philosopher 
has been anticipated by Buddhism in which (accord 
ing to Neumann s Reden Gautama s, Vol. II., Nos. 60 
and 72) the antinomies are taught in a similar, partly 
literally in the same, form. But there, too, the con 
tradiction belongs to the formulation of the statement 
of facts, not to the facts themselves. 

In a certain sense we can say, the world must have 
had a beginning, and must come to an end ; and the 
world had no beginning and can have no end. If we 
speak of this definite nebular system of stars compris 
ing the entire milky way we are compelled to admit 
that it began and will at some definite though distant 


future be dissolved again ; but if we mean by world 
the totality of existence in all its shapes, prior forms 
and causes of origin, we must own that it has existed 
and ever will exist. We could go back in thought to 
the time before the present cosmos started, when 
other worlds were evolving or dissolving and a differ 
ent kind of universe or condition of things prevailed 
and so on without coming to an end. But these con 
ditions being the causes of the present world are in 
cluded in our concept of the universe. The antino 
mies are due to the equivocal significance of our 
words, not to a fault of reason ; nor do they indicate 
that existence itself is self-contradictory. The con 
tradiction is not in the things but in our conception 
of things. 1 

Schopenhauer has vigorously attacked Kant on 
account of his antinomies, insinuating weakness and 
hypocrisy. But it seems to us, while by no means 
agreeing with Kant on this particular point, that 
granting his premises his conclusion was justified. 
The four points of the antinomies, viz., the eternity 
and infinite divisibility of the world, the contrast of 
freedom to causation and the existence of God, are 
no longer of a purely formal nature; some notions of 
experience are inevitably mixed up in them, and thus 

iThat the antinomies cannot be regarded as true antinomies or contra 
dictions of reason, but as the result of a misconception and lack of clearness 
in our formulation of the several problems, becomes apparent in the antin 
omy of freedom -versus necessity. Karl s definition of freedom ( 53) as a fac 
ulty of starting a chain of events spontaneously without antecedent causes 
and his way of reconciling freedom and nature (or as we would say " deter 
minism") is subject to serious criticism. Compare the author s solution of 
the problem in Fundamental Problems, pp. 191-196; Ethical Problems, pp. 45- 
50, 152-156; Primer of Philosophy, pp. 159-164; Soul of Man, pp. 389-397. See 
also The Monist, Vol. III., pp. 611 ff., "The Future in Mental Causation." 
Concerning the ought and its assumed mysterious nature compare the chap 
ters "The Is and the Ought " and "An Analysis of the Moral Ought," in The 
Ethical Problem, pp. 279-295. 


pure reason is unable to decide either way. We might 
as well try to determine by a pru,ri considerations as 
to whether or not electricity can be produced by fric 
tion, or whether or not by rubbing an old metal lamp 
the genii of the lamp will appear. Hence, before the 
tribunal of pure reason either side, the affirmative as 
well as the negative, is defensible, and thus we should 
be obliged to settle the question with other methods ; 
other methods, however, according to Kant s notions 
concerning the nature of metaphysical questions, 
would not be admissible, because he insists that all 
metaphysical notions must be derived from pure con 
cepts alone. 


Kant s philosophy has become the beginning of a 
: *w epoch in the evolution of human thought through 
a formulation of its basic problem and by starting out 
in the right direction for its solution ; but Kant has 
not spoken the final word. 

Kant was awakened from his dogmatic slumber by 
Hume s scepticism, and it was Hume s problem as to 
the nature of causation which prompted him to strike 
a new path in the conception of philosophical prob 

Kant threw light on Hume s problem by general 
ising it and recognising the kinship of the concep 
tion of causation to mathematics and logic, all of them 
beiiig purely formal knowledge. The significance of 
forrm I thought and its power of affording a priori cog- 
nitioi , is Kant s peculiar problem. 

It s generally conceded that Kant solved Hume s 
probl n, but he failed to solve his own. 


By a strange misapprehension of the nature of form 
and its non-objectivity, he has switched off into an 
idealism (so called by himself) which it will be hard 
to distinguish from that subjectivism which he as 
sumed Berkeley s philosophy to be. The difference 
between the two (in Kant s opinion) consists in this, 
that according to Kant, the world itself is real but in 
the form in which it represents itself in space and 
time it is phenomenal, while he declares that accord 
ing to Berkeley the world itself is "illusory appear 
ance." Further Kant insists that the world as appear 
ance, though purely phenomenal, is not an arbitrary 
illusion, but governed by laws which render it neces 
sary in all its details. 

The great merit of Kant is his wonderfully keen 
discrimination between the purely formal and the sen 
sory, showing that the former is throughout universal 
and necessary in its principles, while the latter is in 
cidental and concrete or particular; but he fails to 
apply the same discrimination to his conception of 
experience and to the objects of experience, and thus 
he limits the formal to the subject, while it is obvi 
ously the universal feature of all existence, objective 
as well as subjective, constituting between them the 
connecting link that makes science, i. e., objective 
cognition, possible. 

Before we examine Kant s position, we must first 
discuss, at least briefly, Hume s problem and offer the 
solution in the form which Kant, in our opinion, ought 
to have given it. It will then be easy to point out the 
error that led him astray and prevented him from 
offering a definite and final doctrine as to the nature 
of form which should become the basis of all scientific 
inquiry, and enable philosophy to become a science a? 


definite, or nearly so, as are mathematics and logic, 
or even physics. 


Locke objected to the doctrine of innate ideas, 
claiming that all ideas were the products of sense- 
impressions, and he excepted only one idea, viz., the 
principle of necessary connexion, i. e., causality. 
Hume accepted Locke s sensualism, but, endeavoring 
to be more consistent, drew its last consequence by 
denying even the idea of cause and effect as a neces 
sary connexion. He argued that we meet with con 
stant conjunctions in experience, but not with neces 
sity. By habit we are compelled to expect that upon 
every cause its due effect will follow, but there is no 
reason to assume that causation is due to a universal 
and necessary law of objective validity. Hume saw 
in the relation between cause and effect a synthesis, 
calling it "the sequence of two objects"; and if it 
were a synthesis, or a mere sequence, he would be 
right that the connexion between cause and effect is 
accidental and our belief in its necessity a mere habit. 

The truth is that causation is not a sequence of 
two objects following one another, but one process, a 
motion, or a change of place ; and the simplest kind 
of motion implies that there are at least three phases 
or states of things in the system in which the motion 
takes place : first the original condition (which for sim 
plicity s sake we may assume to be in a relative equi 
librium); secondly, the motion disturbing the equi 
librium so as to make one or several elements in the 
system seek new places; and thirdly, the new adjust 
ment (which for simplicity s sake we will again regard 
as being in equilibrium). The first phase is called 


the conditions or circumstances, the second is the 
cause, and the third the effect. Cause and effect are 
not combined into a unity by the compulsion of a law 
of necessary connexion ; they are two phases of one 
and the same process. The duality is a product of 
abstraction ; the unity of the two is the original fact, 
and we know now that causality is but another ex 
pression for the law of the conservation of matter and 
energy. The naturalist assumes that matter and en 
ergy are indestructible, and thus every process that 
takes place in nature is only a transformation. Ac 
cordingly, our belief in causation is after all, although 
Hume denied it, finally based upon the logical prin 
ciple of identity A=A. It is an extension of this prin 
ciple to a state of motion. 

, Cause, accordingly, is never an object, but always 
an event, viz., a motion of some kind. We cannot 
call the bullet the cause and death the effect ; or mer 
cury the cause and paralysis the effect; or worse still 
(as says George Lewes) that whiskey, water, sugar, 
and lemon are the causes of punch. 

We distinguish between cause and reason, reason 
being the law under which a single event is subsumed 
for the sake of explaining the effectiveness of the 
cause. 1 

IThe instinct of language has here proved wiser than the scholarship of 
philosophers. All European languages (the Greek, the Latin, together with 
its derivatives the French, Italian, etc., the German, the English) distin 
guish between " ain a, causa, Ursache (from the same root as the English verb 
to seek ) cause," and "apx*? (i. e., first principle) ratio, Grund, reason," 
the former being the particular incident that starts a process, the latter the 
raison d ftre, the principle, or general rule, the natural law that explains it. 
When the two ideas are confounded as has been done frequently by philoso 
phers, the greatest confusion results leading to such self-contradictory no 
tions as " causa suz," "first cause," "ultimate cause," etc., which lead either 
to agnosticism or to mysticism. For further details see the author s Primer 
of Philosophy, the chapter on Causation, pp. 30-34, and Fundamental Prot- 
Itms, pp. 29-30. 


Kant, following the suggestion of Hurne, devoted 
special attention to the problem of causality, but he 
solved it by simply declaring that it wss a concept 
a priori, and thus belonged to the same class of 
truths as mathematical, arithmetical, and logical the 
orems. He never attempted to explain its truth, let 
alone to prove it, or to demonstrate its universality 
and necessity. Mathematicians deem it necessary to 
prove their theorems, but Kant, strange to say, neg 
lected to deduce the law of causation from simpler 
truths or analyse it into its elements. If Kant had 
made attempts to analyse causation for the sake of 
proving its validity after the fashion of logicians and 
mathematicians, he might, with his keen insight into 
the nature of physical laws and natural sciences, have 
anticipated the discovery of the law of the conserva 
tion of matter and energy, and might furthermore have 
been preserved from the error of his subjectivism 
which affected the whole system of his thought and 
twisted his philosophy out of shape. 


In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant s position re 
mains unintelligible; we understand his arguments 
and may even approve the several statements from 
which they proceed, but we are astonished at the bold 
ness of the conclusion, and fail to be convinced. His 
objections to the belief in space and time as objective 
things hold good only if space and time are assumed 
to be things or objects; but not if they are thought to 
be mere forms of objects. They are thinkable as forms 
of thought not less than as forms of objects. When 
assumed to be solely forms ot thought to the exclu 
sion of the idea that there are any objective relations 


corresponding to them, they become mysterious and 
quite mystical, and here lies the reason why Kant s 
Critique of Pure Reason is actually mystifying. He 
bewilders the reader. We become acquainted with 
his argument but do not feel sure that we have rightly 
apprehended his meaning. In the Prolegomena Kant 
is, at least, not unintelligible. The Prolegomena are 
not deductive, but inductive. In them Kant leads us 
the way he travelled himself, and this is the reason of 
the importance of the Prolegomena. Kant embodied 
their contents in various places into the second edi 
tion of his Critique of Pure Reason. But the passages 
are scattered and lose the plainness and power which 
they possess in the context of the Prolegomena. Here 
we are face to face with Kant as a man ; he gives us 
a personal reply, as if he were interviewed ; and while 
we grant the significance of transcendentalism and the 
truth of many of his observations and deductions, we 
can at the same time understand how he arrived at 
errors. We can lay our finger on the very spot where 
he went astray, and I cannot but wonder at the cour 
age of this undaunted thinker who abided by the con 
sequences of an apparently trivial fallacy, due to the 
neglect to investigate one feature of the problem to 
which he devoted many years of his life in profound 
reflexion and close study. 

Kant was puzzled that we could know anything a 
priori concerning the formal constitution of things. 
The celestial bodies obey laws which man develops 
out of his mind. That the highest (i. e., the most 
general or universal) laws of nature should happen to 
be the same as the highest (i. e. , the formal) laws of 
the thinking mind, and yet should be of an indepen 
dent origin, seemed absurd to Kant. He saw only 


two possibilities; either, he said, we have derived our 
formal knowledge from the things by experience, or 
we ourselves have put it into the things to which it 
really does not belong. The former possibility is ex 
cluded, because, says Kant (Prolegomena, 9), "The 
properties of a thing cannot migrate into my faculty 
of representation," while on the other hand the purely 
formal truths are not derived from experience, but 
produced by the mind as cognitions a priori. Thus, 
Kant accepts the other horn of the dilemma, declar 
ing (Prolegomena, 36) that our faculty of cognition 
does not conform to the objects, but contrariwise, that 
the objects conform to cognition. Objects, he claimed, 
do not in themselves possess form, but our mind is so 
constituted that it cannot help attributing form and 
everything formal to the object of our experience. 


Now, it is true that our purely formal notions of 
mathematical and logical truths are ideal (made of 
the stuff that ideas consist of), but being purely formal 
they are definitely determined, that is to say that, 
wherever the same constructions are made, either by 
the operations of other minds or of natural conditions 
in the facts of objective reality, they will be found to 
be the same. Thus, our mental constructions can re 
construct the processes and formations of nature, and 
we can learn to predetermine the course of natural 

Kant did not see that form might be a property of 
all existence and that, in that case, the purely formal 
in things would be of the same nature as the purely 
formal in man s mind. It is true that the properties 


of things do not migrate from the objects into the sub 
ject, but they make impressions upon the senses and 
these several impressions possess analogies to the 
qualities by which they are caused. The analogies 
between matter and sensation seem much more arbi 
trary than those between the shapes of things and the 
outlines of our sense-images. Nevertheless even here 
we grant that the reduction of the latter to universal 
laws is purely subjective, for there are no laws, qua 
formulated laws, in the objective world, there are only 
uniformities. But if we understand by the term law 
a description of uniformities we must see at once that 
there are objective realities (or rather features of real 
ity) corresponding to our correct notions of the sev 
eral formal laws. 

If the uniformities of nature are not transferred 
to the mind directly, but if the purely formal con 
cepts nre developed independently of sense-experience 
a priori, how is it possible that the two present the 
wonderful agreement that puzzled Kant? 

Nature is throughout activity, and so is our exist 
ence. Nature is constantly combining and separating ; 
we observe transformations; things move about; and 
their constituent parts change places. Similar ope 
rations are inalienable functions of the mind. The 
subtlest analysis as well as the most complicated com 
position and every investigation, be it ever so intri 
cate, are mere combinations and separations, activi 
ties given together with our existence. 

The arguments of Kant by which he proves the 
apriority of purely formal laws must be granted to be 
true. The source of all purely formal thought is the 
mind, and not sense-perceptions. They are ideal. 
But the mind has been built up by experience, viz., 


by sense-impressions of different but definite forms, 
and the formal order of objective nature is the mould 
in which the mind has been formed. The brute can 
not as yet analyse sensations into their forms and ma 
terials, i. e., into the purely relational and the purely 
sensory features ; but man can ; and when he has ac 
quired the power of abstraction he can build models 
of forms, exhausting the entire scope of all possible 
cases, and these models serve him as examples of the 
several analogous formations of nature. Accordingly, 
our mental constitution, though a subjective construc 
tion, is built up with materials quarried from the 
formal uniformities of objective nature. Thus the 
spider undoubtedly weaves his web from his own bod 
ily self, but the materials have first been deposited 
there by nature. Man s mind is not less than the spi 
der s silken thread, produced by, and remaining a part 
and an expression of, that great All-Being in which 
all creatures live and move and have their being. 

.There is this difference between the spider s web 
and formal thought : the former consists of matter, 
the pure forms of mathematical, logical, and other 
ideas are immaterial ; they are abstracts made of the 
purely relational features of sense-impressions. They 
are ideal, viz., mental pictures, and as such they are 
subjective. But they are not purely subjective. The 
sensory part of a retinal image is purely subjective, 
but the formal preserves in a reduced size the projec 
tion of the shape of the object. Form belongs to the 
object as well as to its subjective image, and thus the 
subjective conception of form possesses an objective 

Everything ideal is subjective, but it need not be 
purely subjective. Because the rational is ideal, it by 


no means follows that it is not, and cannot be, objec 

When \ve construct some purely formal configura- 
t on with our nature-given mental operations, it will 
I>e the same as any other construction which has been 
made in the same way, be it in the domain either of 
things or of other minds. Nature performs the same 
operations which appear in man s mental activity. 
Man being a part of existence, what is more natural 
than that his bodily and mental constitution partakes 
of the same form as all the other parts of the world 
that surrounds him? 

A great and important part of our knowledge con 
sists of purely formal theorems ; they are a priori. And 
these purely formal theorems contain actual informa 
tion concerning the formal aspect of the real world. 
And why? Because they are systematic reconstruc 
tions of the formal features of reality by imitating 
operations of motion which take place throughout the 

All formal theorems have a general application, 
hence, whenever applicable, they afford a priori in 
formation and can be employed as a key to unlock the 
mysteries of the unknown. 

By the rule of three we calculate the distance from 
the earth to the sun, and map out the paths of the 
several celestial bodies. 

When Kant says: Our mind "dictates" certain 
laws to the objects of experience, he uses a wrong ex 
pression or takes a poetical license seriously. The 
mind "dictates" nothing to reality. Reality includ 
ing its form is such as it is independently of what we 
think it to be. That which Kant calls dictating is a 
mere determining, a description, implying at the same 


time a foretelling or predicting of natural events which 
(as we saw) is done by constructing in our mind anal 
ogous models. The agreement between our model 
and reality proves only that the scheme on which the 
model has been constructed is correct ; it does not 
prove that the model does any dictating. The model 
dictates as little to reality as a barometer dictates what 
air-pressure there is to be in the atmosphere. 


While we must object to Kant s doctrine that 
everything ideal is subjective and that what is directly 
derived from the mind cannot be objective, we must 
not (with the Sensualists) place the formal and the 
sensual on tht same level. Kant is right that space 
and time are not objects or things or entities ; they 
are forms, and as forms they possess the quality of 
being empty. There is no particularity about them 
anywhere. Thus, space is space anywhere; it is not 
like matter, denser here and looser there; nor like 
energy, here intense, there weak. Considered in it 
self, space is the mere potentiality of existence. It is 
a description ol. the condition of granting motion to 
move in all directions. Its very indifference and ab 
sence of anything particular implies uniformity ; and 
thus the laws of potentiality (i. e., the qualities of 
possible forms) are mere schedules ; they are empty 
in themselves, but possess universal application. 1 

The formal aspect of reality is its suchness; the 
material elerrent is its thisness. All suchness can be 

*ntbi have been felt by philosophers of all nations, and it is sur 
prising to TM? *.bem in the writings of Lao Tze and the Buddhist scriptures 
in both of which the absence of materiality, the not-being, plays an impor 
tant part aid *B endowed with religious sanctity. 


formulated in general, and even in universal, descrip 
tions ; all thisness is individual and particular. State 
ments of a general nature, such as are formulated by 
employing the methods of formal thought, are not 
single and concrete facts, but omnipresent and eter 
nal laws ; they are true or untrue, correct or incor 
rect. Facts of thisness are always in a special time 
and in a special spot in space. They are definite nunc 
and hie, not a semper and ubique. They are not true 
or untrue, but real or unreal. 

The essential feature of things is their form ; for 
their form, which is their suchness, viz., their exter 
nal shape as well as internal structure, constitutes 
their character, their soul, their spiritual significance, 
making them what they are. Their thisness is their 
concrete presence which actualises the thing as a 
stubborn fact of the material universe. 

It is true that the sense-pictures in which the 
world is represented to us are subjective; they are 
appearances or phenomena; it is further true that 
these pictures are radically different from the thirgs 
which they represent. The color-sensation red has 
no similarity (as Kant rightly observes) to the physi 
cal qualities of vermillion ; and physicists have suffi 
ciently penetrated into the constitution of matter of 
any kind (though most of the problems remain still 
unsolved) to convince us that matter as it is in itself 
is radically different from the subjective picture as 
which it presents itself to the senses. But the scien 
tist assumes form to be objective, and all the theories 
as to the constitution of matter, in chemistry as well 
as in the several branches of physics, are based on 
the principle of eliminating the subjective element, 
that is to sa3 7 . the properly sensory ingredients of our 


experience, by reducing them to statements in purely 
formal terms, which is done by measuring, by count 
ing, by weighing, by defining their proportions, by 
describing their shape and structure, by determining 
their relations ; and if we have succeeded in doing so, 
we claim to have understood the objective nature of 
things. How can Kant s statement be upheld, that 
the sensation red is not an objective quality of ver- 
million ? Is it not because physics has taught us that 
difference of color depends upon a difference of wave 
length in ether vibration? Kant s argument is based 
upon a tacit but indispensable recognition of the ob 
jectivity of form and formal qualities. 

Therefore, while granting that the sense-begotten 
world-picture of our intuition is subjective appear 
ance (cf. footnote on page 232), we claim in contrast 
to Kant that its formal elements represent a feature 
that inheres in existence as the form of existence. 

In making form purely subjective, Kant changes 
notwithstanding his protestations all ideas, all 
thoughts, all science, into purely subjective conceits. 
He is more of an idealist than Berkeley. Science can 
be regarded as an objective method of cognition only 
if the laws of form are objective features of reality 


An incidental remark on the moral aspect of the 
contrast between the purely formal and the sensory 
would not seem out of place here. Man has risen from 
the sensual plane into the abstract realms of reason, 
and morality becomes possible only by man s ability to 
make general principles the basis of his actions. Thus 
it happens that at a certain period of man s develop 
ment the sensory is regarded as the lower, and gen- 


eralisations with what they imply, ideals, maxims, 
abstract thought, as the higher. The sensory is thus 
discriminated against and even denounced as the en 
emy of the spiritual. Hence the dualistic phase in 
the religious and philosophical evolution of mankind 
in which sensuality is branded as sin and salvation 
sought in asceticism, i. e., the mortification of the 

We must consider, however, that the contrast be 
tween form and matter, general law and particular 
existence, the ideal and sensory, spirit and matter, 
does not imply a contradictory antithesis, let alone 
any hostility or exclusivity of the two. That the spir 
itual, viz., the conception of the purely formal with 
reason and its generalisations, develops only on a 
higher plane, cannot be used to incriminate the sen 
sory and the bodily. On the contrary, the spiritual 
justifies the sensory and points out the higher aims 
which it can attain. 

And how indispensable is the sensory in religion! 
Consider but love, so much insisted on by the preach 
ers of almost all higher faiths. Is it not even in its 
present form a sentiment, i. e., a sensory emotion? 
The truth is that morality consists in the sanctifica- 
tion of the sensory, not in its eradication ; and sancti- 
fication means setting aside and devoting to a special 
purpose, to the exclusion of a general use. Particu 
larity is the nature of bodily existence and particu 
larity demands exclusiveness. Any general use of 
bodily functions will prostitute them. Reason, on the 
contrary, is meant for general use and can never surfer 
from a general application. 

Kant s conception of morality is based upon rea 
son, to the exclusion of sentiment. Reason makes 


action according to principles or maxims possible, 
and all those maxims are moral which can become 
universally established. Thus the basis of ethics is 
the golden rule, pronounced by Confucius, Christ, and 
other religious leaders of mankind. Lao-Tze says of 
the sage: "His methods invite requital." 1 


We believe we have satisfactorily explained the 
problem of the a priori, of the purely formal, which 
puzzled Kant; we have further shown how and why 
the laws of purely formal thought agree with the 
highest laws of nature ; why being devoid of particu 
larity they are universal (implying necessity); and 
there remains only to be pointed out that the validity 
of science rests upon the assurance of the identity of 
the subjective and the objective laws of form. Form, 
being common to both domains, the objectivity cf 
things and the subjectivity of the mind, serves as a 
bridge on which cognition can advance into the un 
known realms of objective existence, and thus the 
formal sciences constitute our organ of cognition, the 
objective reliability of which depends upon form be 
ing an objective feature of things. 

It goes without saying that all that Kant says 
concerning their infinity, uniqueness, universality, 
and necessity as being against the belief that space 
and time are objects or things holds good; it proves 
that they are forms. Yet though they must not be 
regarded as objects, they are objective ; they are the 
forms of intuition but also of the objects intuited. 
Further, what Kant says (relying on symmetry as in 

1 Tao-Teh-King, Chapter 30. 


tuitively perceived) to prove that they are forms of 
intuitions and not concepts, holds as well to prove 
that they are sighted forms of existence, not inter 
nally hidden qualities of a stuffy, thingish nature to 
be distilled from sense-perception in the alembic of 
the observation before its existence can be known. It 
is true that the world as it appears to us is a sense- 
woven, subjective picture ; things as we perceive them 
are phenomena. Further, our concepts, including the 
world-conception of science, which is built up with 
the help of the purely formal laws of thought, is a 
mental construction ; they are noumena. Both worlds, 
that of sense and that of thought, are subjective; but 
they represent reality ; the senses picture the world in 
the beauteous glow of sensations, and the mind de 
scribes it in the exact measures of formal determina 
tions ; but the latter, if true, offers an objectively valid 
model of the constitution of things, explaining their 
suchness without, however, giving any information as 
to the nature of reality in itself, i. e., what matter is 
in itself; whether it is eternal or not; why it exists; 
and if it came into being, or how it happened to orig 
inate. It is obvious that things are not matter, but 
matter of a definite form ; the form is cognisable, 
while matter is simply the indication of their concrete 
reality as objects in the objective world. 


Kant in discriminating between empirical percep 
tion (viz., the sense impressions possessing only sub 
jective validity) and experience (viz., the product of 
sense-impressions worked out by the a priori methods 
of pure reason imparting to our judgments universal- 


ity and necessity) 1 goes far in refuting himself and his 
pet theory. He speaks of universality and necessity 
as the only means by which the subjective elements 
can become objectively valid. He claims, e. g., to 
"have amply shown that they (the concepts of the 
pure understanding, causality, including also mathe 
matics, etc.) and the theorems derived from them are 
firmly established a priori, or before all experience, 
and have their undoubted objective value, though only 
with regard to experience." 

If the concepts of the pure understanding have 
objective value, why are they not objective? Why 
must they be regarded as purely subjective? We 
grant the strength of Kant s argument that, being un 
equivocally creations of the mind independent of 
sense-experience, or, as Kant calls them, a priori. 
they are subjective. But is not the question legiti 
mate that they may be at once subjective and objec 
tive? Kant disposes of this question too quickly, and 
here lies his mistake: instead of investigating how 
certain uniformities of law may be at once indigen 
ously subjective, i. e., originated by purely mental 
operations, and at the same time objective, i. e., ac- 
tualised by the operations of material bodies in the 
concrete world of real existence, he jumps at the con 
clusion that all things ideal are necessarily purely 
subjective. The ideal, viz., all that belongs to the 
realm of ideas, is subjective, but it has objective va 
lidity, and that which gives it objective validity is the 
mind s power of forming universal and necessary 
judgments. In fact, the terms universal and neces 
sary would have no sense if they were limited to the 
realm of subjectivity and if objective validity did not 

1 Prolegomena, 2 ff. 


imply true objectivity. Hence our aim is to explain 
the correspondence between the subjective and the 
objective, and we come to the conclusion that the 
a priori judgments are based upon the conditions of 
pure form, and form is a quality of the object as well 
as of the subject. 

Thus while Kant s doctrine implies that 

the forms of intuition (space and time) and the 
formal laws are a priori in the mind ; therefore 
they are purely subjective and the intuiting and 
thinking subject transfers them upon the objec 
tive world ; 
our position is the reverse. 

What Kant calls a priori is purely formal; there 
fore the mind can produce its laws and theorems by 
purely mental operations, yet at the same time, being 
purely formal, they apply to objective reality as the 
formal conditions of all objects, and thus the opera 
tions of objects, as far as their formal conditions are 
concerned, bear a close analogy to the a priori theo 

We construct the purely formal in our mind, but 
we do not create it. Nor are the propositions of 
mathematics a quality of space. We do not deduce 
the Pythagorean theorem from space, but we con 
struct a right-angled triangle and investigate the re 
suits of our construction. Accordingly the theorems 
thus evolved are products of our mental operations 
executed on conditions given in our space conception. 
There are no mathematical theorems in the stellar 
universe, but there are conditions in the starry heav 
ens which make it possible to calculate distances or 
other relations with the help of arithmetical computa 
tions and geometric constructions. And the condi- 


tions which make this possible can only be the objec 
tivity of form implying that the a priori laws of 
subjective form as constructed in our mental models 
possess an objective validity. 


Zeno s paradox and the difficulties which Clifford 
found in the continuity conception of space, it seems 
to me, arise from a direct identification of the mental 
construction of space with the objective formal fea 
tures of things that constitute what may be called ob 
jective space. Objective space is an inherent quality 
of things as the relational of their parts and is not, as 
in subjective space, a construction. The path of a 
body can be represented by a mathematical line, and 
aline is infinitely divisible ; but for that reason it is 
not composed of infinite parts. Nor has a moving 
body to construct a line of an infinite number of in 
finitely minute parts by adding them piecemeal. The 
mental analysis and construction of a line is different 
from traversing it. For moving over a definite stretch 
of ground it is not necessary to go through the pro 
cess of separately adding the imaginary infinitely 
small parts of which it is supposed to consist and into 
which it may be divided. It has not actually been 
divided, it is only infinitely divisible. 

It is true that time (as time) is purely subjective, 
but there is a reality that corresponds to time. Time 
is the measure of motion. We count the running sand 
of the hour-glass, we divide the face of the sun-dial, 
we build a clock to determine the lapse of time. 
There is no time (as time) in the objective world, 
but there are motions, such as the revolutions of the 


earth round its axis, or round the sun, and these mo 
tions possess succession with definite duration, ren 
dering time, viz., their determination, possible. Dura 
tion with succession of events in the world of things 
is the objective equivalent of time. The measurement 
of time is a subjective device. 

The same is true of space as a conception of the 
extended world of things. There is no space concep 
tion in things, but bodies are extended ; and their re 
lation among themselves is an arrangement of in 
numerable juxtapositions. Extension, juxtaposition, 
direction of motion, is the objective quality of things 
that corresponds to the purely mental concept of 

The untrained and philosophically crude man 
transfers subjective conceptions of things directly 
upon the objective world. He speaks of light and 
colors, of sounds, of time and numbers and things as 
existing outside of his mind; but a close inspection of 
the origin of mind will teach us to discriminate be 
tween sound and air waves, between colors and the 
cause of colors (produced by a commotion in the 
ether, a reality whose existence is directly imper 
ceptible and can only be deduced indirectly by argu 
ment). We shall learn by reflexion that geometrical 
lines are purely mental constructions, but that the 
paths of the stars possess qualities (viz., all those 
which depend upon purely formal conditions) that 
closely correspond to the conic sections of mathe 

Further, it becomes obvious that our division of 
the world into separate things is artificial, for things 
are only clusters of predicates which impress us as 
being units. The truth is that the world is so consti- 


tuted as to render a perfect separation impossible. 
Things are in a perpetual flux, and the limits between 
them are arbitrary. As the whole atmosphere and its 
pressure belong to our lungs, so the gravity of the sun 
is an integral part of the weight of the earth. Thus 
we can truly say that there are no separate things ex 
cept in our minds where they are artificial divisions 
invented for the practical purpose of describing the 
world, of mapping out its parts, of comprehending 
its actions and having a means of adjusting ourselves 
to our surroundings. 

Logic is purely mental, but there is something in 
the objective world that tallies with logic ; we call it 
natural law, but the term law is misleading. There 
are no laws in nature, but only uniformities resulting 
from the condition that the purely formal is the same 
everywhere and that the same formal conditions will 
produce the same formal effects. 

Purely formal laws are universally valid only as 
purely formal laws. Twice two will be four in all 
arithmetical systems of any possible rational being, 
and the statement is universally valid so far as pure 
forms are concerned. If we deal with actualities pos 
sessed of additional qualities where multiplication 
ceases to have its strict mathematical sense, the state 
ment will no longer be tenable. The accumulation of 
power on a definite occasion may have results that 
cannot be calculated by addition or multiplication. 
The associated wealth of twice two millions may far 
exceed four millions ; and twice one half will never be 
one when we deal with living organisms. All this is 
conceded. Ideal operations are purely mental and as 
such subjective, but for all that they possess objec 
tive validity which implies that there are objective 


features exhibiting close analogies, by being products 
of a fundamental sameness of conditions. This funda 
mental sameness is the universality of form which is 
common to both the domain of the objective world 
and the ideal realm of the mind, the thinking subject 
There are neither categories nor classes in the ob 
jective world, but the different modes of existence are 
classified by sentient beings and the scheme of the 
classification is the result. A reflexion upon our modes 
of thought objectifies them as modes of existence. 
The Platonic ideas, i. e. , the eternal types of the vari 
ous beings, do not possess a concrete existence as do, 
e. g., the moulds of a potter, but there are uniformi 
ties among the living forms which are obviously ap 
parent. The doctrine of evolution proves that the 
lines of division between the types of beings are not 
so distinct in reality as they seem to be, and before a 
strictly scientific inspection they fade away as imag 
inary; yet they remain and are indispensable for our 
method of classification ; and the unities which they 
represent justify us in speaking of objective features 
as corresponding to the mental conception of Platonic 


The sense-impressions of things are registered ac 
cording to their difference of form. Every sense-im 
pression runs along in the groove prepared for it by a 
former sense-impression. Thus the same is registered 
with the same, and similar ones are correlated. The 
result is a systematisation of sensory impressions, and 
the relations that obtain in this system which is built 
up in the natural course of growth, may appropriately 
be compared to the pigeon-holes of a methodically 


arranged cabinet. The difference between the cabinet 
with pigeon-holes and the human mind is this, that 
the former is artificial, the latter natural. The human 
mind with its rationality has been developed accord 
ing to mechanical law and the classification of sense- 
impressions is done by it as automatically as the dis 
tribution of the different letters in a type-distributing 

Our ideas, our names of things, our system of 
classification is purely subjective, but there is an ob 
jective analogue of the eternal types, which consists 
in the uniformities of all possible formations. This is 
true of living creatures as well as of machines and 
other concepts of human fancy. In the domain of 
invention we know very well that the inventor some 
times creates a combination of parts never actual- 
ised before on earth ; but the inventor is a finder: he 
is as much a discoverer as Columbus who found a 
new continent, or the scientist who succeeds in formu 
lating an unknown law. America existed before Co 
lumbus, the law of gravitation held good before New 
ton, and the idea of a steam engine was a realisable 
combination before James Watts. It is a feature of 
objective existence that certain functions can be per 
formed in perfectly definite interrelations. Such con 
ditions which are actualised by a certain combination 
and disappear as soon as the combination is destroyed, 
are the objective features in things which justify the 
subjective idea of unities finding expression in con- 
cepts of things and beings. 


Kant grants the objective applicability of the cate 
gories but he denies the validity of the ideas of pure 


reason, especially the cosmological, the psychological, 
and the theojogical idea. We are unable to follow 
Kant and are inclined to consider his three ideas of 
Pure Reason in the same light as time and space and 
the categories. The concept of unity is not a mere 
assumption but it has its correspondent analogue in 
reality 1 and has its practical use; only we must be 
ware of treating unities as concrete objectivities, as 
separate and discrete entities, as things in themselves 
which have an objective existence apart from and in 
dependently of their constituent parts. Thus the soul 
of man is as real on the assumption of an ego entity 
as on the theory of its denial. Life is as true whether 
or not vitalism can be established. The world is a 
great interrelated system, whether or not the uniform 
ities of nature are called laws. There is a creation 
of the world, a formation of its life, a dispensation 
of its destinies, taking place, whether or not this ulti 
mate norm of being be called God; the facts of the 
cosmic order remain the same on the assumptions of 
both theism and atheism. But obviously, this deci 
sion is not an endorsement of Kant s antinomies, but 
an explanation of his reasons for formulating them. 

While we grant that there is a reality correspond 
ing to Kant s three ideas of pure reason, we do not 
mean to say that there is a God such as the crude be 
lief of an untrained mind represents him to be, nor 
further that there is a soul such as it is assumed to 
exist in the annals of superstition, nor finally that the 
crude notions of a cosmos, the limits of the world or 
its infinitude, its composition, its determinedness, and 

IThus not only all organisms are unities, but also steam-engines, dy 
namos, or any machinery that would not work unless it were constructed of 
interacting parts in a definite way. 


its absolute existence should be such as abstract rea 
son might arbitrarily construct: we only mean to say 
that there are factors in life which caused man to con 
struct such mental images or ideas as are called God, 
soul, and world. The ideas may be wrong, but the 
factors which produced them are real, and the duty 
devolves upon theology, psychology, and cosmology 
to eliminate error and bring out the truth. 

My objection to Kant s doctrine is not an objection 
to his terminology nor to idealism in general. We 
may form our world-view in an idealistic as well as a 
realistic nomenclature. Object may mean either the 
sense-woven picture or the outside thing which it sig 
nifies. We may say that the objective world is ideal, 
for such it is, meaning by objects the things as we see 
them. We may say that the objective world is real, 
meaning by objects the actual things represented in 
our sense-images. The nomenclature of a philosoph 
ical system is important but it is arbitrary. We may 
criticise it as impractical, but we cannot on its account 
reject a philosophy as untrue. 


We object to Kant s doctrine of limiting form to 
the subject and thus denying the objective value of 
the ideal. W 7 e may define terms as we please-but we 
must remain consistent. If the objects are ideal, I 
gladly grant that the forms of the objects are ideal; 
but for all that, being forms of the objects, they are 
objective, as much as the objects themselves. 

The sense-woven pictures of things, though sub 
jective images, are the realities of life, and our con 
cepts of things are symbols of them in terms of their 
formal features expressed according to schedules 


which we construct a priori. Time and space, the 
forms of our sense- world (of our Ansekauung) 9 accord 
ingly are as real as these things, and I cannot say that 
the things themselves are real while the forms of 
things are purely ideal, i. e., not real. 

Schopenhauer, a one-sided but nevertheless one of 
the most prominent and faithful disciples of Kant, de 
fends Kantian idealism against the misinterpretations 
of the so-called realists in these sentences : 

" In spite of all that one may say, nothing is so persistently 
and ever anew misunderstood as Idealism, because it is interpreted 
as meaning that one denies the empirical reality of the external 
world. Upon this re?ts the perpetual return to the appeal to com 
mon sense, which appears in many forms and guises ; for example, 
as an irresistible conviction in the Scotch school, or as Jacobi s 
faith in the reality of the external world. The external world by 
no means presents itself, as Jac ;bi declares, upon credit, and is 
accepted by us upon trust and faith. It presents itself as that 
which it is, and performs directly what it promises." 1 


The quarrel between the idealists so called and the 
realists of Jacobi s stamp is purely a question of termi 
nology. It is a vicious circle to ask whether the real 
is real; the question is, "What do we understand by 
real?" Now we agree with Kant in accepting An- 
schauung as real. Our perceptions are the data of 
experience, they are the facts of life about which there 
is no quibbling and the question of unreality originates 
only in the realm of abstract thought, viz., in the do 
main of interpretation. Perceptions are classified ; 
perceptions of the same kind are subsumed under the 
general conception of their class and if a perception 
is misinterpreted, our notion concerning it is errone- 

1 From Schopenhauer s The World as Will and Idea. 


ous. An after-image is as real as the original pei 
ception, but it is called an illusion when it suggests 
the presence of an object ; in other words when its 
cause is misinterpreted. 

Perceptions accordingly are what we define as 
real, and space and time are, abstractly stated, the 
forms of perception. Time and space, accordingly, 
are as real as perceptions. 

Now we may ask what are the objects of the per 
ceptions, defining objects this time not as the sense- 
woven images of our perception inside our senses, 
but as the external presences which are supposed to 
cause them. Since it is impossible here to enter into 
a detailed epistemological discussion of the subject, 
we state the answer for brevity s sake dogmatically as 
follows: The objects (viz., the external presences 
which are supposed to cause perceptions) are, ulti 
mately, i. e., in their inmost constitution, of the same 
nature as are the perceptions themselves. The per 
ceptions in their totality are called the subject which 
is a sentient body, an intricate organism consisting 
of different organs of sense and a superadded organ 
of thought for preserving the sense-images, collating 
them, classifying them, and interpreting them. We 
are a system of perceptions and impulses, guided by 
memories and thoughts, but we represent ourselves 
in our own perception as a body in time and space. 
Thus our representation of ourselves is our self-per 
ception, i. e., a representation of the subject as its 
own object, and our self-perception is as real as are 
perceptions in general. Succession of sense-impres 
sions and reactions thereupon, accordingly, form part 
and parcel of our subject as its own object ; and in the 
same way, juxtaposition of organs is an attribute of 


our self, not as it is as a subject in itself, but of our 
self as it represents itself as its own object. Other 
objects are in the same predicament and partake of 
the same nature. If time and space are the forms of 
the objectified subject, viz., of our own bodily exist 
ence we have good reasons to ascribe objectivity to 
the facts from which the ideas of time and space are 
derived, viz., to extension and succession. 


It is true that the factors which generate in the 
mind our conceptions of time and space, together with 
the entire formal aspect of being, lie in the subject, in 
the sentient thinking being, but they lie not in the ab 
stract subject in itself, not in the subjectivity of the 
subject, not in the quality of the subject which re 
mains when all other qualities, i. e., the objective 
features of its own actualisation as a concrete being, 
are omitted by the process of abstraction, i. e., when 
they have been cancelled in thought. The subject in 
itself will be found to be an empty generalisation 
which contains nothing but a product of our analysis 
of perception, the bare idea of the perceiving in con 
trast to the perceived. It contains nothing either a 
priori or a posteriori ; merely itself, the shadow of a 
thing. But the actual subject, which is an object in 
the objective world, exists somewhere in space and in 
a given time. It moves, i. e., it changes its position. 
It consists of juxtaposed organs and its experiences 
exhibit a definite succession, each act having its own 
definite duration. Therefore we do not hesitate, when 
drawing a line of demarcation between the subjective 
and the objective features of the thinking subject, to 
include its form together with its bodily objectivation 


in the realm of objectivity. In this way it happens 
i hat time and space may be called subjective, because 
the objectified subject finds them a priori in itself, but 
their ultimate root lies in the domain of objectivity, 
and we can therefore just as well call them objective, 
because they are the forms of the objective world and 
originate in the subject only because it is an object 
belonging to the objective world. 


Kant was puzzled mainly by the subjective aprio 
rity of the laws of time and space and of all other for 
mal relations, but this puzzling apriority is, closely 
considered, nothing but their general applicability to 
all possible experience, which is due to the fact that 
all formal relations admit of systematisation. Formal 
possibilities can be exhausted and purely formal state 
ments apply to all pure forms. Hence they possess 
universality, and universality admits of no exception, 
hence it implies necessity, which involves a priori ap 

It is true (as Kant says) that purely formal knowl 
edge is empty; but we know at the same time that 
the purely formal knowledge gives system to the em 
pirical, to the sense-given facts of our experience. If 
we could not classify sense-impressions, they would 
remain a useless chaos, and human reason would not 
have developed. Kant expresses this truth by say 
ing that the sensory impressions without the guidance 
of the purely formal are blind. 

But as the formative norms of the objective world 
shape things and make them such as they are, our 
formal cognition classifies sense-impression according 
to their forms and thus makes a knowledge of objects 


possible. Our formal cognition is not the cause of 
the objective uniformities (as Kant suggests) but one 
of their applications only, being, as it were, their own 
reflexion in the consciousness of a sentient being. By 
be,ng systematised in the shape of formulas, they ap 
pi} 1 a priori to experience and become in this way a 
key, with the help of which we can unlock the closed 
doors of the mysteries of nature and decipher the 
riddles of the universe. 


We may call the eternal norms of existence which 
condition the formation of things "being" or "Sfin" 
and the concrete actualisation of the types of being 
their "becoming," Werdtn or Dasein. We become 
acquainted with the norms of existence, part of which 
are formulated as natural laws, by abstraction and 
generalisation, but for that reason they are not mere 
glittering generalities, abstract nonentities, or unreal 
inventions, but significant features of objective exist 
ence, depicting not accidental but necessary uniformi 
ties. While we concede that the world of becoming 
is real, we must grant that the realm of being is super- 
real. Both Sfin and Wcrden, Being and Becoming, 
are real ; but the reality of the two is different in kind. 
The latter s reality is actualisation, the reality of the 
former is eternality. Thus the former is immutable, 
the latter a perpetual flux. The fleeting realities of 
sense are definite objects in the objective world, but 
the norms of eternal being are the formative factors 
which shape them. 

Obviously the eternal norms of existence, which 
are identical with the purely formal laws constituting 
the cosmic order, though not material facts, are the 


most effective presences of the world. They are not 
only real, they are superreal. They remain the same 
whether realised or not in the actual world. They 
produce the cosmic order, render the rise of rational 
beings possible, they are the condition of the intelli 
gibility of things, they are the prototype of mind and 
spirituality, they are the corner-stone of both science 
and ethics and constitute Kant s mundus intelligibilis 
the realm of spiritual being ; Swedenborg s sphere of 
spirits, of angels, and archangels ; the kingdom of 
God, to be realised on earth ; yea, God himself, for 
God is all these norms in their totality and systematic 
unity. In Lao-Tze s philosophy it is the eternal Tao, 
the world-reason or primordial Logos. In Buddhist 
metaphysics it corresponds to A9vaghosha s Tatha- 
gatagarbha, i. e., the womb of Buddhahood and the 
origin of all things ; to Amitabha, the source of all 
light and wisdom, and also to the deathless, the un- 
create, the non-corporeal existence (ardpcf), the Nir 
vana of the older Buddhists. 


The data of experience are sensations, or sense- 
perceptions, which represent themselves as images of 
things in time and space. The sensory element of 
the images, which is conditioned by the material com 
position of the sentient subject, is purely subjective 
and need not be uniform. Thus we know that colors 
are perceived differently by different eyes; the color 
blind see the world like a steel engraving, or rather a 
wash-picture, gray in gray. To the red-blind red ap 
pears green, to the green-blind red appears dark yel 
low and green pale yellow. If all men were color 
blind, the gray ima^e would have to be regarded as 


normal. The forms of things, too, are conditioned to 
some extent by the material composition of our sense- 
organs, as much so as the picture on the sensitive 
plate of a photographer s camera depends upon the 
lens. Further, \ve see not things as they are, but as 
they are projected according to the laws of perspec 
tive. But we can from the given data of the projected 
images and additional considerations of other data of 
experience reconstruct the form and structure of 
tilings as they are in space and of the events as they 
and their accelerations take place in time. This con 
struction of things is called in Kant s terminology 
things as creations of thought, or noumena, and the 
noumena are intended as models of the objects them 
selves, for they mean to depict things in their objec 
tive nature, as they are after the elimination of all 
subjective elements of cognition. Accordingly nou 
mena (as noumena) are scientific notions, products 
of reasoning, and subjective in a higher degree even 
than sense-perceptions. They are the interpretations 
of the sense-perceptions and are as such ideal, i. e., 
representations not things. But they represent things 
as they are, independent of the senses of the sentient 
subject. Noumena would be unmeaning, if they did 
not represent objective realities, if they were purely 
fictitious, if they did not portray the things as objects 
in the objective world. We may fitly call the realities 
for whose designation noumena (i. e., scientific con 
cepts) have been invented objects, or more definitely, 
objects in themselves. 

They constitute the realm of experience, and time 
and space are the generalised modes of their existence 
by which we determine their formal qualities. Noth 
ing is real in the sense of concrete existence, except 


it be in time and space. Accordingly lime and space 
(though not objects but mere forms) are objective 
qualities of things, and without time and space con 
crete things cease to be concretely real and become 
either mere Ideas or nonentities. 

We may with Kant distinguish between thing and 
thing in itself and may understand by the latter the 
eternal foundation of the thing, its metaphysical raison 
d etre, whatever that may mean (either its Platonic 
idea, its eternal type, or the Schopenhauerian con 
ception of its "will to be," or the general and abstract 
idea of its existence), but under all conditions space 
and time belong (as Kant says) to the things as ap 
pearances, viz., the things as objects in the objective 
world which implies (the contrary to that which Kant 
says) that they are not purely subjective, but objec 


Now we may call the perpetual flux of concrete 
objects appearance, "and the domain of eternal being 
the real things " : in that case the real things come to 
appearance by becoming actual in time and space. In 
this sense we agree with Kant, that time and space are 
real for our experience, though not for our experience 
alone, but for any experience. Every sentient sub 
ject, in so far as it is sentient, every individual man, 
is not a subject pure and simple, but an actualised 
subject, an objectified thing, for all acts of cognition 
are acts of an objective significance, taking place in 
the domain of objective existence, as an interrelation 
between two or several objects. One party to this 
interrelation (viz., my bodily organisation) happens 
to be the sentient and thinking subject, but that alters 


nothing in the case, for all its actions take place in 
time, and the concrete corporeality of its organs is 
somewhere in space. Again therefore we come to the 
conclusion that space and time appertain (as Kant 
says) to the appearances of things. They appertain to 
the subject, not in itself, but to the appearance of the 
subject, viz., to its objectivation ; accordingly they are 
(as opposed to what Kant says) objective, not purely 
subjective, and may be called subjective only in a spe 
cial sense, viz., in so far as they appertain to the objec 
tified subject, which, however, is an object like any 
other object in the objective world. The subject does 
not transfer time and space into the objective world, 
but anything that becomes actual thereby makes its 
appearance in time and space. In other words, Time, 
Space, and all the norms of purely formal relations, 
are the forms of any possible concrete existence: 
Whatever the metaphysical raison d etre of things may 
be, the "why there is anything," reality, when ac- 
tualiscd, represents itself objectively as being in time 
and space. The thinking subject does not represent 
things in time and space, but in so far as it is an actual 
object in the objective world, it represents itself (i. e., 
it appears) in time and space. So do all other things : 
hence the concurrence of the formal notions of the 
objectified subject with the formal conditions of the 
objectified things of our surroundings. Kant says 


"Space and time together with the appear 
ances in them are nothing existing in themselves 
and outside of my representations but are them 
selves only modes of representation." 1 

lit is very strange that the same Kant who says that space (viz., extf-rt 
sion) is only a mode of representation dec rres (in 2) that the sentence 

2 3 2 

He should have said (and here we use purposely 
Kant s own term appearance " *) : 

Time and space are modes of appearance, viz., 
of self-representation. 

Being modes of appearance they are inside every 
subject in so far as it has made its appearance in the 
objective world. They are in all objects as those re 
lational features which determine the juxtaposition 
of things. It is the actualised appearance that needs 
extension (i. e., space) for the distribution of the sev 
eral organs of the thinking subject. We feel our limbs 
as being in different places, as moving about, as touch 
ing, as separating, etc., and these feelings are parts 
of our soul : they are the inside of the subject which 
is objectified (or comes to appearance) in our bodily 
existence. Our body (viz., our self as appearance) is 
extended, and the space, needed for it, is limited by 
the skin. The remainder of extension which accomo- 
dates the other objects of the surrounding world is 
designated as the outside ; and if the extension within 
our skin is real, the outside must also be real. Both 
together constitute space. 

"bodies are extended "is analytical; accordingly he regards extension or 
space as the essential feature of a thing, of an object. Why then does he not 
recognise space as the mark of objectivism, which might have led him to 
concede the objective nature of the operations of the thinking subject? 

1 Appearance or phenomenon means originally the picture of objects as 
it appears on the retina and generally all the data of sense-perception ; but 
the word is used in contrast to noumenon, or abstract thought, denoting the 
concrete object as it is given to the senses distinguished from its general and 
abstract idea. Thus, the world of appearances means the concrete world of 
objects that affect our senses, though the term might be interpreted to stand 
for the retinal picture as a mere subjective image in contrast to the material 
world of objective reality. Indeed, there are authors who do use the word in 
the latter sense, while in the minds of most readers the two conceptions are 
mixed and the former is imperceptibly affected by the latter. It would not be 
difficult to point out what an interminable confusion the use of this word has 
produced in philosophy. 


When Kant denies that space and time are objec- 
Jve, he becomes confused and self-contradictory. For 
ne would either have to say that space and time are 
limited within the boundary of the body of the think 
ing subject, which is nonsense, or he must attribute 
them to the subject as a thing in itself, which contra 
dicts his own theory according to which time and 
space do not refer to things in themselves, but to ap 
pearances only. Thus even from Kant s own premises 
and when employing his own terminology the theory 
becomes untenable that space and time are purely 
subjective attributes. Their very nature is objectivity, 
and if objects are appearances, time and space as the 
forms of all appearance must be regarded as features 
of existence which in their very nature are objective. 
It appears that Kant was not sufficiently careful to 
distinguish between space-conception, which is sub 
jective, and space itself, which, being the juxtaposi 
tion of things and their parts, is objective. Space- 
conception originates from within sentient organisms, 
viz., in the mind, by its adjustment to the surround 
ing world through the use of its organs. Its ultimate 
sources are of a physiological nature consisting in the 
motion of the limbs and especially the eyes. This is 
what Ernst Mach calls physiological space. 1 Mathe 
matical space is a higher abstraction than physiolo 
gical space. In mathematical space all incidental fea 
tures, the differences of right and left, of high and low, 
etc., are dropped, and space is regarded as homa- 
loidal, viz., as constituted alike throughout. The 
homaloidality of space is the simplest way of depriv 
ing space of all positive attributes, of rendering it the 

ISee Ernst Mach s article "On Physiological, as Distinguished from 
Geometrical Space," in The Monixt, Vol. XL, No. 3., April, 1901. 


"same" throughout. At any rate it is a mental con 
struction as much as the idea of a straight line and all 
geometrical figures. The construction has been made 
without any concrete building material, with mere men 
tal operations, simply by proceeding on the assump 
tion of logical consistency, where the same procedure 
yields the same result. That other space construc 
tions are possible need not concern us here. At any 
rate, our space-conception is built up in the thinking 
subject by operations of which it is possessed in its 
capacity as an object moving about in the objective 
world. Our space-conception is a noumenon (a pro 
duct of thought), and like all noumena, it is intended 
to describe features of objective reality; and the?e 
features of objective reality intended to be delineated 
in our space-conception is objective space viz., the 
extension of the world and of its parts, the juxtaposi 
tion of bodies, and the range of directions all around 
every moving point. 

Our space-conception is subjective, but for that 
reason space itself remains as objective as any object 
in space. Moreover, the data from which our space- 
conception has been constructed are as objective as 
are all the acts and facts of our bodily organism, 


Where, then, are the things in themselves, which, 
according to Kant, remain unintelligible ? 

There is a truth in the idea that our mind is so 
constituted as to transfer to the phenomenal world 
its a priori notions of time and space and its thought- 
forms. The world of our senses which appears to us 
as the objective world that surrounds us. is truly a 
construction of our organs of sense ; the construction 


is as necessary as is for example the reflexion of a pic 
ture in a mirror ; things in themselves remain outside. 
In this sense Kant s doctrine of idealism is undeniably 

But Kant goes further in saying that things in 
themselves, meaning things viewed independently of 
our sense-perception, do not partake of form and are 
therefore unknowable. But what is knowledge if not 
a correct description of things? Things are mirrored 
in our eyes, and abstract notions are formed to rep 
resent them in mental symbols. It would be absurd 
to expect that things should bodily migrate into our 

It is the ideal of science to eliminate the subjec 
tivity of the thinking subject and construct a world- 
picture in terms of formal laws, by the guidance of 
the several sciences of formal thought; this is the 
noumenal world, the world of thought ; but this nou- 
menal world is nothing but a picture (more or less ac 
curate) of the objective world as things are indepen 
dently of sense-perception. Here everything changes 
into motion of a definite form ; the rainbow with the 
warm beauty of its colors becomes the reflexion of 
?ther waves of a definite angle with definite wave 
lengths. Though the noumenon is a subjective con 
struction, it is an analogue of the objects as they are 
in themselves, describing their suchness. Accord 
ingly, this would be a cognition of things in them 
selves, for Kant defines things in themselves as the 
ground which determines our sensibility to have sense- 
perceptions, or briefly the causes of phenomena. 

Cognition is nothing more nor less than the con 
struction of analogous symbols of things by which we 
can know their nature for the sake of determining 


their action, thus enabling us to direct the course of 
events by adaptation partly of ourselves to conditions, 
partly of our surroundings to our wants. Unless we 
denounce science as a vagary of the human mind, we 
must grant that in spite of the shortcomings of the 
individual scientist, the ideal of science (which con 
sists in describing things in their objective existence) 
is justified, and can be more and more realised. 

And what becomes of things in themselves? 

If things in themselves cannot be described with 
the assistance of formal thoughts, they degenerate 
into dim chimerical and contradictory notions, such 
as unextended bodies, or substances without quali 
ties, or unmaterial entities, or causes which remain 
outside the pale of causation. 

The conception of things in themselves is a vagary 
of pre-Kantian metaphysics, the empty shell of which, 
as an irrational quantity, transcendent and unknow 
able, was by some mishap suffered to remain in Kant s 

If things in themselves mean objective things, 
viz., things as they are, independently of our sensi 
bility, we must deny that they are unknowable. If 
they mean that which constitutes the essential char 
acter of the things, making them what they are, they 
will be seen to be determined by their suchness; they 
are what Plato called the eternal types of being, or 
ideas; and we ought to call them not "things in 
themselves," but "forms in themselves." 

Schopenhauer interprets the Kantian conception 
of things in themselves as the metaphysical raison 
d etre of their existence, but he denies that its nature 
cannot be known and discovers its manifestation in 
"the Will." According to him it is the Will that 


makes every one what he is, and Schopenhauer s Will 
is not the physiological process of willing, the con 
scious effort of causing an idea to pass into an act, but 
the tendency to motion such as it inheres in all exist 
ence, in the stone as gravity, in chemicals as affinity, 
in sentient beings as desire. He expressly excludes 
that feature which distinguishes will from unconscious 
motions, viz., intelligence, and speaks of the blind 
Will. The blind Will is practically deified by him, 
for it is supposed to be above time and space and 
credited with creative omnipotence. In reality it is 
nothing but the widest generalisation of motion. 

Clifford offers another interpretation of the term 
thing in itself," viz., the sentiency of organised be 
ings, constituting their subjectivity and corresponding 
to what in man is called his "soul." But, again, this 
subjectivity, the spiritual inside, is always the sentient 
accompaniment of the organisation, the bodily out 
side ; and its nature can be determined by studying 
the visible exponents of its objective expression in 
which it is realised. Thus Clifford s things in them 
selves are as little unknowable as Schopenhauer s. 

Agnosticism, the egg-shell of metaphysicism, pre 
vented Kant from taking the last step suggested by 
his doctrine of the necessity and universality of the 
laws of pure form. He lost himself in contradictions 
and became satisfied with his statement of the antino 
mies of pure reason, according to which we may prove 
with equal plausibility that God exists or that he does 


If Kant had followed the course which we here, 
under the guidance of the principles laid out by him, 


have briefly sketched out, his philosophy not only 
would have become less artificial and remained in 
close touch with the natural sciences, but it would 
a SO have helped theology to develop* purer, truer, 
and nobler religious ideals. With the egg-shell of 
agnosticism on its back, Kantism was satisfied with 
the existing state of beliefs and tilings ; nc t that Kant 
endorsed the various irrationalities cf the Christianity 
of his day, the literalism of dogma, the implicit belief 
in the very text of the Bible, the Creation story, pa 
ternalism of the Prussian State Church, etc.; he criti 
cised them occasionally in mild terms ; but instead of 
going to work to purify religion (not in the narrow 
and prosaic spirit of his disciples, the Rationalists, 
but with due reverence for the poetry of dogma and 
legend, and at the same time with a consideration for 
the practical needs of the heart): he simply justified 
them in general terms on account of their moral use 
fulness in his Critique of Practical Reason. 

As an instance, let us point out his unsatisfactory 
solution of the God problem. 

Kant accepted in his conception of God the tradi 
tional views of the Church, and discussed it as one of 
the several metaphysical notions, the result being that 
the idea is pronounced to be transcendent, and we 
can with equally plausible reasons both affirm and 
deny his existence. It is one of Kant s four antino 
mies of Pure Reason. But God unknown to pure 
reason and not discoverable in the domain of experi 
ence and resuscitated only as a postulate of practical 
reason is a poor substitute even for the mythological 
conception of the god of the uneducated masses. An 
hypothetical god cannot help; he is sicklied over 
with the pale cast of thought ; he is not real ; he is 


paralysed. I arn far from blaming Kant, who has 
done so much for philosophy, for not having done 
more and performed a reformer s work for religion ; 
but I would suggest that he might as well from his 
own principles have investigated the nature of formal 
laws, which in the subjective sphere of reason appear 
as transcendental ideas, and have come to the conclu 
sion that a truer God-conception could be derived 
therefrom, which then would commend itself as the 
higher ideal. The popular notions of the several re 
ligions and also of a primitive theology are dim fore- 
shadovings of a scientific God-conception, the purity 
of whivh is inci^afling with the progress of scientific 

Thf* world dtfder, that purely formal law in the 
objective worM which forms and creates, shaping the 
stellar universe (as Kant set forth so forcibly in his 
General Natural History and Theory of the Heavens}, 
and rfYealing itself in the social development of man 
as the power that makes for righteousness, must have 
made its influence felt in the life of mankind at the 
very beginning, and would naturally, according to the 
practical needs of the intelligence of the successive 
ages., assume the shape of a conception of God, more 
or less crude in the beginning, and more or less phil 
osophical in the mind of the wise. The world-order, 
this superpersonal spirituality that acts as the divine 
dispensation in the world, is hyperphysical (I pur 
posely avoid the much-abused term "supernatural," 
but I might as well say supernatural). It is intrinsi 
cally necessary, it is omnipresent, it is unerring in the 
truth of its various applications which form as it were 
a gr^nd system, comparable to the articulated differ- 
et > ^rr, of a spiritual organism, a personality ; it 


is as unfailingly just as the law of causation is rigid ; 
and every God-conception is but an attempt at com 
prehending its moral significance. 

The fetishist s notion of a power to which he must 
conform is not absolutely wrong. It contains a truth, 
but is alloyed with superstitions. The idea of think 
ing of God as a king of kings, as a supreme judge, is 
more advanced, inasmuch as God henceforth repre 
sents a moral maxim, the principle of justice in the 
world. The God-father idea of Christianity surpasses 
the theology of the prophets of the Old Testament, 
but it, too, falls short of the truth in all its perfection. 
All we have to do is to be serious in scientifically 
thinking the divine attributes of omnipresence, of 
eternality, of infinitude, of omniscience, of all-justice, 
of the irrefragability of law in the physical, the psy 
chical, and the social spheres of existence, which, re 
flected in the instructive growth of his conscience, 
become to man the moral norm of liie, and the ulti 
mate authority of conduct. 

Kant cited the religious notions of the theology of 
his age before the tribunal of pure reason and dis 
missed the suit as offering no issue, leaving the ques 
tion in the state in which he had found it. He would 
have served his age better had he worked out the 
philosophical significance of the idea of God, on the 
basis of the practical significance of his Transcenden 
talism ; he would then, instead of leaving the problem 
unsolved, have boldly propounded the gospel of the 
superpersonal God as coming, not to destroy the old 
theology, but to fulfil its yearnings and hopes, with 
out in the least doing violence to the demands of crit 
icism and scientific exactness. 





materials, culled from Kantian literature, are intended 
-L as specimens of the various opinions which prevail concern 
ing Kant, and have been arranged and added to this book for the 
purpose of enabling the student to study Kant in the impressions 
which he made upon the philosophical public. The selection has 
at the same time been offered with the intention of giving a 
brief synopsis of Kant s work, at least so far as the systematic con 
struction, or Ausbau, of his transcendental criticism is concerned. 
It is understood that Kant s merits as a thinker and inquirer are not 
limited to metaphysics, but it would have led us too far, and would 
have swelled the book to too bulky a size, without doing justice to 
the subject, if we had also attempted to consider here Kant s re 
searches in physics, mechanics, astronomy, and the other natural 
sciences. That Kant had a clear idea, not only of evolution and of 
the descent of man from lower forms of life, but also of the dif 
ficulties of the evolution theory, is well attested by many remark 
able passages, collected by Fritz Schultze 1 . 

We have only to add that we have selected Windelband as a 
representative historian of philosophy, in preference, say, to Erd- 
mann and Ueberweg, solely because of the terseness of his state 
ments. Schwegler is a Hegelian, Weber an Alsatian under French 
influence. Lange represents the large class of agnostics who grant 
that materialism is untenable as a philosophy but deem it to be 
the best working hypothesis in science. Schopenhauer is one of 
the most original disciples of Kant, and set up a philosophy of his 
own, conceiving the world under the double aspect of Will and 
Idea. He hates Hegel and all " school-philosophy," saying that he 
himself, the true philosopher, lives for philosophy, while the pro 
fessors appointed to teach philosophy live on philosophy. Heine 

\Kant und Darwin, ein Beitra^ zur Geschichte der Entwzckelungslekre 
Jena, 1875. 


is peculiarly interesting, being brilliant and cynical at the same 
time. He speaks sometimes as if he were an atheist, and again 
advocates a theism verging on pantheism. Theodore F. Wright s 
digest of Stuckenberg is cavilling and spiteful. His is the most 
unfavorable view of Kant, and we quote it on that account. Paul- 
sen s chronological table will be welcome as a useful synopsis of 
the data of Kant s life. p. c. 



TMMANUEL KANT was born April 22, 1724, at Konigsberg, 
J. Prussia, the son of a saddler. He was educated at the Pietistic 
Collegium Fridericianum, and attended in 1740 the University of 
his native city to study theology ; but subjects of natural science 
and philosophy gradually attracted him. After concluding his 
studies, he became a private teacher in various families in the 
vicinity of Konigsberg from 1746 to 1755 ; in the autumn of 1755 he 
habilitated as Privatdocent in the philosophical faculty of Konigs 
berg University, and was made full Professor there in 1770. The 
cheerful, brilliant animation, and versatility of his middle years 
gave place with time to an earnest, rigorous conception of life and 
to the control of a strict consciousness of duty, which manifested 
itself in his unremitting labour upon his great philosophical task, 
in his masterful fulfilment of the duties of his academic profession, 
and in the inflexible rectitude of his life, which was not without 
a shade of the pedantic. The uniform course of his solitary and 
modest scholar s life was not disturbed by the brilliancy of the 
fame that fell upon his life s evening, and only transiently by the 
dark shadow that the hatred of orthodoxy, which had obtained 
control under Frederick William II., threatened to cast upon his 
path by a prohibition of his philosophy. He died from the weak 
ness of old age on the i2th of February, 1804. 

Kant s middle and later life and personality has been drawn 
most completely by Kuno Fischer (Geschtchte der neueren Philo 
sophic, III. and IV., 3d ed., Munich, 1882); E. Arnoldt has treated 
of his youth and the first part of his activity as a teacher (Konigs 
berg, 1882). See also J H. W. Stuckenberg, Life of Kant (Lon 
don, 1882). 

\History of Philosophy. Translated from the German by James H. Tufts, 
New York : Macmillan, 1893. Price $500. This work is especially valuable as 
a comparative treatment of the history of thought 


The change which was taking place in the philosopher toward 
the end of the seventh decade of the eighteenth cemury appears 
especially in his activity as a writer. His earlier "pre-critical" 
works are distinguished by easy-flowing, graceful presentation, 
and present themselves as admirable occasional writings of a man 
of fine thought who is well versed in the world. His later works 
show the laboriousness of his thought and the pressure of the con 
tending motifs, both in the form of the investigation, with its cir 
cumstantial heaviness and artificial architectonic structure, and in 
the formation of his sentences, which are highly involved, and 
frequently interrupted by restriction. Minerva frightened away 
the graces ; but instead, the devout tone of deep thought and 
earnest conviction, which here and there rises to powerful pathos 
and weighty expression, hovers over his later writings. 

For Kant s theoretical development, the antithesis between the 
Leibnizo-Wolffian metaphysics and the Newtonian natural philos 
ophy was at the beginning of decisive importance. The former 
had been brought to his attention at the University by Knutzen, 
the latter by Teske, and in his growing alienation from the philo 
sophical school-system, his interest for natural science, to which 
for the time he seemed to desire to devote himself entirely, co 
operated strongly. His first treatise, 1747, was entitled Thoughts 
upon the True Measure of Vis Viva, a controverted question be 
tween Cartesian and Leibnizian physicists ; his great work upon 
the General Natural History and Theory of the Heavens was a 
natural science production of the first rank, and besides small 
articles, his promotion-treatise, De Igne (1755), which propounded 
a hypothesis as to imponderables, belongs here. His activity as a 
teacher also showed, even on into his later period, a preference for 
the subjects of natural sciences, especially for physical geography 
and anthropology. 

In theoretical philosophy Kant passed through many reversals 
(mancherlei Umkippungcn} of his standpoint. At the beginning 
(in the Physical Monadology} he had sought to adjust the opposi 
tion between Leibniz and Newton, in their doctrine of space, by 
the ordinary distinction of things-in-themselves (which are to be 
known metaphysically), and phenomena, or things as they appear 
(which are to be investigated physically) ; he then (in the writings 
after 1760) attained to the insight that a metaphysics in the sense 
of rationalism is impossible, that philosophy and mathematics must 
have diametrically opposed methods, and that philosophy as the 


empirical knowledge of the given cannot step beyond the circle of 
experience. But while he allowed himself to be comforted by 
Voltaire and Rousseau for this falling away of metaphysical in 
sight, through the instrumentality of the "natural feeling" for the 
right and holy, he was still working with Lambert at an improve 
ment of the method of metaphysics, and when he found this, as he 
hoped, by the aid of Leibniz s Nouveaux Essais, he constructed 
in bold lines the mystico-dogmatic system of his Inaugural Dis 

The progress from this point to the System of Criticism is 
obscure and controverted. For this development, and for the time 
in which he was influenced by Hume, as well as for the direction 
which that influence took, consult the following works : Fr. Michelis, 
Kant vor und nach 1770 (Braunsberg, 1871) ; Fr. Paulsen, Ver- 
such einer Entivicklungsgeschichte der Kantischen Erkennt- 
nisstheorie (Leipsic, 1875); A. Riehl, Geschichte und Methode dts 
philosophischen Kriticismus (Leips. 1876) ; B. Erdmann, Kant s 
Kriticismus (Leips. 1878) ; W. Windelband, Die verschiedenen 
Phasen der Kantischen I^ehre ^ om Ding-an-sich {Vierteljahrs- 
schrift filr zvissenschaftliche Philosophie, 1876). Cf. also the 
writings by K. Dieterich on Kant s relation to Newton and Rous 
seau under the title Die Kantische Philosophic in ihrer inneren 
Entzuicklungsgeschichte, Freiburg i. B. 1885 ; also A. Wreschner, 
Ernst Plainer und Kant s Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Leipsic, 
1893); E. Adickes, Kant-Studien (Kiel and Leipsic, 1895); F. 
Paulsen, Immanuel Kant (Stuttgart, 1898). For Kant on Evolu 
tion, see P. Carus, Kant and Spencer (Chicago, 1900). 

From the adjustment of the various tendencies of Kant s 
thought proceeded the "Doomsday-book" of German philosophy, 
the Critique of Pure Reason (Riga, 1781). It received a series of 
changes in the second edition (1787), and these became the objec, 
of very vigorous controversies after attention had been called to 
them by Schelling (W., V. 196) and Jacobi (W., II. 291). Cf. con 
cerning this, the writings cited above. H. Vaihinger, Commentar 
zu Kant s Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Vol. I., Stuttgart, 1887, 
Vol. II., 1892), has diligently collected the literature. Separate 
editions of the Kritik, by K. Kehrbach, upon the basis of the first 
edition, and by B. Erdmann and E. Adickes upon the basis of the 
second edition, have been published. 

There is an English translation of the Critique (2d ed.), by 
in the Bohn Library, and also one by Max Miiller 


(text of ist ed. with supplements giving changes of 2d ed.), Lond. 
1881. We have further a Paraphrase and Commentary by Mahaffy 
and Bernard, 2d ed., Lond. and N. Y. 1889; and partial transla 
tions in J. H. Stirling s Text-book to Kant, and in Watson s Selec 
tions, Lond. and N. Y. 1888. This last contains also extracts from 
the ethical writings and from the Critique of Judgment. 

The additional main writings of Kant in his critical period are : 
Prolegomena zu einerjeden kilnftigen Metaphysik, 1783 ; Grund- 
legung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, 1785 ; Metaphysische An- 

fangsgrunde der Naturzvissenschaft, 1785 ; Kritik der prak- 
ti&chen Vernunft, 1788; Kritik der Urtheilskraft, 1790; Die 
Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft, 1793 ; 
Zum ewigen Frieden, 1795 ; Metaphysische Anfangsgriinde 
der Rechts- und Tugendlehre, 1797 ; Der Streit der Fakultdten, 
1798. There is an English translation of the Prolegomena, by 
Mahaffy and Bernard, Lond. and N. Y., 1889 ; of the Prolegomena 
and Metaphysical Foundation of Natural Science, by Bax, Bohn 
Library ; of the ethical writings, including the first part of the 
Religion within the Bounds of Pure Reason, by T. K. Abbott, 
4th ed., Lond. 1889; of the Critique of Judgment, by J. H. 
Bernard, Lond. and N. Y. 1892 ; of the Philosophy of Law, by W. 
Hastie, Edin. 1887 ; Principles of Politics, including the essay on 
Perpetual Peace, by W. Hastie, Edin. 1891 ; of Kant s Inaugural 
Dissertation, W. J. Eckoff, (New York, 1894). The contents of 
Kant s Essays and Treatises, 2 vols. , Lond. 1798, is given in 
Ueberiveg, II. 138 (Eng. tr.). 

Complete editions of his works have been prepared by K. 
Rosenkranz and F. W. Schubert (12 vols., Leips. 1833 ff.) ; by G. 
Hartenstein (10 vols., Leips. 1838 f. ; more recently 8 vols., Leips. 
1867 ff.); and by J. v. Kirchmann (in the Philos. Biblioth.}. They 
contain, besides his smaller articles, etc., his lectures upon logic, 
pedagogy, etc., and his letters. A survey of all that has been writ 
ten by Kant (including also the manuscript of the Transition 

from Metaphysics to Physics, which is without value for the inter 
pretation of his critical system) is found in Ueberweg-Heinze, III, 
24 ; there, too, the voluminous literature is cited with great com 
pleteness. Of this we can give here only a choice of the best and 
most instructive ; a survey of the more valuable literature, ar 
ranged according to its material, is offered by the article Kant, by 
W. Windelband in Ersch und Gruber s Enc. The Journal of 
Speculative Philosophy contains numerous articles upon Kant. 


We may mention also Adamson, The Philosophy of Kant, Edin, 
1879 ; art. Kant, in Enc. Brit. , by the same author ; arts, in Mind, 
Vol. VI., by J. Watson, and in Philos. Review, 1893, by J. G. 
Schurmann. E. Adickes has published an exhaustive bibliography 
of the German literature in the Philos. Review ; 1893 ff. 




A LTHOUGH the Critique of Pure Reason reduces us to a 
XX. scepticism which is all the more absolute because it is rea 
soned, proved, cientifically established, and legitimised, it would be 
a grave mistake to consider the sage of Koenigsberg as a sceptic in 
the traditional sense, and to impute to him a weakness for the mate 
rialism of his age. Scepticism is the upshot of the Critique of Pure 
Reason; it is not, however, the ultimatum of Kantianism. To assert 
the contrary is completely to misunderstand the spirit of the 
philosophy of Kant and the final purpose of his critique. This is 
by no means hostile to the moral faith and its transcendent object, 
but wholly in its favor. It is, undoubtedly, not Kant s intention to 
"humiliate " reason, as Tertullian and Pascal had desired to do, 
but to assign to it its proper place among all our faculties, its true 
role in the complicated play of our spiritual life. Now, this place 
is, according to Kant, a subordinate one ; this function is re 
gulative and modifying, not constitutive and creative. The WILL, 
and not reason, forms the basis of our faculties and of things. 
that is the leading thought of Kantian philosophy. While reason 
becomes entangled in inevitable antinomies and involves us in 
doubts, the will is the ally of faith, the source, and therefore, the 
natural guardian of our moral and religious beliefs. Observe that 

1 From Weber s History of Philosophy. Translated by Frank Thilly. New 
York: Scribner s. Price, $2.50. Weber s book is one of the clearest, con- 
cisest, and most readable of the histories of philosophies. 

2H. Cohen, Kant s Begrundung der Ethik, Berlin, 1877; E. Zeller, Ueber 
das Kantische Moralprincip, Berlin, 1880; J. G. Schurman, Kantian Ethics 
and the Ethics of Evolution, London, 1881; N. Porter, Kant s Ethics, Chicago, 
1886 ; F. W. Forster, Der Entwickelungsgang der Kantischen Ethik, etc., Ber 
lin, 1894 ; Piinjer, Die Religionslehre Kant s, Jena, 1874. 


Kant in no wise denies the existence of the thing-in-itself, of the 
soul, and of God, but only the possibility of proving the reality of 
these Ideas, by means of reasoning. True, he combats spirit 
ualistic dogmatism, but the same blow that brings it down over 
throws materialism ; and though he attacks theism, he likewise de 
molishes the dogmatic pretensions of the atheists. What he combats 
to the utmost and pitilessly destroys is the dogmatism of theoretical 
reason, under whatever form it may present itself, whether as 
theism or atheism, spiritualism or materialism ; is its assumption 
of authority in the system of our faculties ; is the prejudice which 
attributes metaphysical capacity to the understanding, isolated 
from the -will and depending on its ozvn resources. By way of 
retaliation and here he reveals the depth of his philosophic faith 
he concedes a certain metaphysical capacity to practical reason, 
i. c., to ivill. 

Like the understanding, the will has its own character, its 
original forms, its particular legislation, a legislation which Kant 
calls "practical reason." In this new domain, the problems raised 
by the Critique of Pure Reason change in aspect ; doubts are dis 
sipated, and uncertainties give way to practical certainty. The 
moral law differs essentially from physical law, as conceived by 
theoretical reason. Physical law is irresistible and inexorable ; 
the moral law does not compel, but bind ; hence it implies free 
dom. Though freedom cannot be proved theoretically, it is not in 
the least doubtful to the will : it is a postulate of practical reason, 
an immediate fact of the moral consciousness. 1 

Here arises one of the great difficulties with which philosophy 
is confronted : How can we reconcile the postulate of practical rea 
son with the axiom of pure reason that every occurrence in the 
phenomenal order is a necessary effect, that the phenomenal world 
is governed by an absolute determinism ? Kant, whose belief in 
free-will is no less ardent than his love of truth, cannot admit an 
absolute incompatibility between natural necessity and moral 
liberty. The conflict of reason and conscience, regarding freedom, 
can only be a seeming one ; it must be possible to resolve the an 
tinomy without violating the rights of the intelligence or those of 
the will. 

The solution would, undoubtedly, be impossible, if the Cri 
tique of Pure Reason absolutely denied liberty, but the fact is, it 

zur Metaphysik der Sitten, p. 80 (Rosenkranz) ; Kritik der 
praktischen I ernunft, p. 274. 


excludes freedom from the phenomenal sphere only, and not from 
the intelligible and transcendent world, which exists behind the 
phenomenon, though it is unknowable. Theoretical reason de 
clares : Freedom, though impossible in the phenomenal world, is 
possible in the absolute order ; it is conceived as a noumenon ; it 
is intelligible ; and practical reason adds : it is certain. Hence, 
there is no real contradiction between the faculty of knowledge 
and of will. Our acts are determined, in so far as they occur in 
time and in space, indetermined and free, in so far as the source 
whence they spring, our intelligible character, is independent of 
these two forms of sensibility. 1 

This would not be a solution if time and space were objective 
realities, as dogmatic philosophy conceives them. From that 
point of vieru, Spinoza is right in denying freedom. However, as 
soon as we agree with criticism, that space and, above all, time are 
modes of seeing things, and do not affect the things themselves, 
determinism is reduced to a mere theory or general conception of 
things, a theory or conception which reason cannot repudiate with 
out abdicating, but which by no means expresses their real es 

The Kantian solution of the problem of freedom at first sight 
provokes a very serious objection. If the soul, as intelligible 
character, does not exist in time, if it is not a phenomenon, we 
can no longer subsume it under the category of causality, since the 
categories apply only to phenomena and not to " noumena. 
Hence it ceases to be a cause and a free cause. Nor can we apply 
to it the category of unity. Hence it ceases to be an individual 
apart from other individuals : it is identified with the universal, 
the eternal, and the infinite. Fichte, therefore, consistently de 
duces his doctrine of the absolute ego from Kantian premises. 
Our philosopher, however, does not seem to have the slightest 
suspicion that this is the logical conclusion of this theory. Nay, 
he postulates, always in the name of practical reason, individual 
immortality 2 as a necessary condition of the solution of the moral 
problem, and the existence of a God 3 apart from the intelligible 
ego, as the highest guarantee of the moral order and the ultimate 
triumph of the good. It is true, Kant s theology is merely an ap 
pendix to his ethics, and is not to be taken very seriously. It is 

\Kritik der praktischen 1 ernunft, pp. 225 ff. 
J Kritik der praktischen Vcrnunft, p. 261. 
3/</., p. 264. 


no longer, as in the Middle Ages, the queen of the sciences, but 
the humble servant of independent ethics. This personal God, 
afterwards postulated by the Critique of Practical Reason, forcibly 
reminds us of the celebrated epigram of a contemporary of our 
philosopher: "If there were no God, we should have to invent 

The real God of Kant is Freedom in the service of the ideal, 
or the good Will (der gute Witte) 1 

His conviction in this matter is most clearly expressed by 
the doctrine of the primacy of practical reason* i. e., of the 
zvi Il. 3 Theoretical reason and practical reason, though not directly 
contradicting each other, are slightly at variance as the most im 
portant questions of ethics and religion, the former tending to con 
ceive liberty, God, and the absolute as ideals having no demon 
strable objective existence, the latter affirming the reality of the 
autonomous soul, responsibility, immortality, and the Supreme 
Being. The consequences of this dualism would be disastrous if 
theoretical reason and practical reason were of equal rank ; and 
they would be still more disastrous, were the latter subordinated 
to the former. But the authority of practical reason is superior to 
that of theoretical reason, and in real life the former predominates. 
Hence we should, in any case, act as if it zvere proved that we 
are free, that the soul is immortal, that there is a supreme judge 
and rewarder. 

In certain respects, the dualism of understanding and will is a 
happy circumstance. If the realities of religion, God, freedom, 
and the immortality of the soul, were self-evident truths, or 
capable of theoretical proof, we should do the good for the sake of 
future reward, our will would cease to be autonomous, our acts 
would no longer be strictly moral ; for every other motive except 
the categorical imperative of conscience and the respect which it 
inspires, be it friendship or even the love of God, renders the will 
heteronomous, and deprives its acts of their ethical character. 
Moreover, religion is true only when completely identical with 
morality. Religion within the bounds of reason consists in morality, 
nothing more nor less. The essence of Christianity is eternal 

\Grundlegung xur Mctaphytik der Sitten, p. n : Es ist uberall nichts in 
der Welt J a uberhaupt auch ausser derselben zu denkcn moglich, -was ohne Ein- 
ichrankung/ur gut konnte gehalten werden, als allein ein GUTER WiLLE. 

IKritik der praktischen Vernunft,?. 258. 

3 Id., pp. 105 ff. 


morality ; the goal of the church is the triumph of right in human 
ity. When the church aims at a different goal, it loses its raison 
d etre. 1 


While the Critique of Practical Reason, vrith its categorical 
imperative, its primacy of the conscience, and its absolute inde 
pendence of morality, satisfies Kant s moral feeling and his great 
love of liberty, which had been shaken by the conclusions of the 
Critique of Pure Reason , the philosophical instinct reasserts it 
self in his aesthetics and teleology, which form the subject-matter 
of his Critique of Judgment. We have seen how, in the Critique 
of Pure Reason, he universally combines synthesis with analysis, 
how he solders together the heterogeneous parts of the cognitive 
apparatus : between the functions of sensibility and those of reason 
he discovers the intermediate function of the idea of time, which 
is half intuition, half category ; between a priori concepts which 
are diametrically opposed, he inserts intermediary categories. The 
same synthetic impulse leads him, in his Critique of Judgment, 
to bridge over the chasm which separates theoretical reason and 
the conscience. 3 

The aesthetical and teleological sense is an intermediate faculty, 
a connecting link between the understanding and the will. Truth 
is the object of the understanding, nature and natural necessity its 
subject-matter. The will strives for the good ; it deals with free 
dom. The aesthetical and teleological sense (or judgment in the 
narrow sense of the term) is concerned with what lies between the 
true and the good, between nature and liberty : we mean the 

1 Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft, pp. 130 ff. ; 205 
ff. The independent morality of the socialist P. J. Proudhon (18091865) is 
grounded on these principles. It is based on the following proposition: 
" Morality must cease to lean on theology for support, it must free itself from 
all so-called revealed dogmas, and base itself solely on conscience and the 
innate principle of justice, without requiring the support of the belief in God 
and the immortality of the soul." This doctrine of Proudhon has been re 
produced and popularized by a weekly journal, the "Morale independante, 
edited by Massol, Morin and Coignet (1895 ff -)- 

2[A. Stadler, Kant s Teleologie, etc., Berlin, 1874; H. Cohen, Kant s Be- 
gr tin dung der Aesthetik, Berlin, 1889; J. Goldfriedrich, Kant s Aesthetik, 
Leipsic, 1895; J. H. Tufts, The Sources and Development of Kant s Teleology , 
Chicago, 1892.] 

ZXritik der Urtheilskraft , p. 14. 


beautiful and the purposive. Kant calls it judgment because of 
the analogy between its manifestations and what is called judg 
ment in logic, like the judgment, the sense of the beautiful and the 
teleological establishes a relation between two things which as 
such have nothing in common : between what ought to be and what 
is, between freedom and natural necessity. 

i. ^Esthetics. The sesthetical sense differs both from the 
understanding and the will. It is neither theoretical nor practical 
in character; it is a phenomenon sui generis. But it has this in 
common with reason and will, that it rests on an essentially sub 
jective basis. Just as reason constitutes the true, and will the 
good, so the aesthetical sense makes the beautiful. Beauty does 
not inhere in objects ; it does not exist apart from the assthetical 
sense; it is the product of this sense, as time and space are the 
products of the theoretical sense. That is beautiful which pleases 
(quality), which pleases all (quantity), which pleases without in 
terest and without a concept (relation), and pleases necessarily 
(modality). 1 

What characterizes the beautiful and distinguishes it from the 
sublime, is the feeling of peace, tranquillity, or harmony which it 
arouses in us, in consequence of the perfect agreement between 
the understanding and the imagination. The sublime, on the other 
hand, disturbs us, agitates us, transports us. Beauty dwells in the 
form ; the sublime, in the disproportion between the form and the 
content. The beautiful calms and pacifies us ; the sublime brings 
disorder into our faculties ; it produces discord between the rea 
son, which conceives the infinite, and the imagination, which has 
its fixed limits. The emotion caused in us by the starry heavens, 
the storm, and the raging sea springs from the conflict aroused by 
these different phenomena between our reason, which can measure 
the forces of nature and the heavenly distances without being over 
whelmed by the enormous figures, and our imagination, which 
cannot follow reason into the depths of infinity. Man has a feel 
ing of grandeur, because he himself is grand through reason. The 
animal remains passive in the presence of the grand spectacles of 
nature, because its intelligence does not rise beyond the level of its 
imagination. Hence we aptly say, the sublime elevates the soul 
(das Erhabene ist erhebend). In the feeling of the sublime, man 
reveals himself as a being infinite in reason, finite in imagi- 

1 Kritik der Urtheilskraft , pp. 45 ff. 


nation. Both infinite and finite : how is that possible ? Kant can 
not fathom this mystery without surpassing the limits which he has 
prescribed to knowledge. 1 

2. Teleology? There are two kinds of purposiveness. The 
one arouses in us, immediately and without the aid of any con 
cept, a feeling of pleasure, satisfaction, and inner harmony : this is 
subjective finality, which constitutes the beautiful. The other also 
arouses pleasure, but mediately, in consequence of an experience 
or an intermediate process of reasoning : this is objective finality, 
which constitutes the suitable (das Zweckmcissige}. Thus, a 
flower may be both the object of an aesthetical judgment in the 
artist, and of a ideological judgment in the naturalist, who has 
tested its value as a remedy. Only, the judgment which stamps it 
as beautiful is immediate and spontaneous, while that of the 
naturalist depends on previous experience. 

The Critique of Pure Reason regards every phenomenon as a 
necessary effect, and therefore excludes purposiveness from the 
phenomenal world. Physics merely enumerates an infinite series 
of causes and effects. Teleology introduces between the cause and 
the effect, considered as the end or goal, the means, the in 
strumental cause. Theoretically, teleology is valueless. However, 
we cannot avoid it so long as we apply our teleological sense to 
the study of nature. Unless we abandon one of our faculties, 
which is as real and inevitable as reason and will, we cannot help 
recognizing purposiveness in the structure of the eye, the ear, and 
the organism in general. Though mechanism fully explains the 
inorganic world, the teleological view forces itself upon us when 
we come to consider anatomy, physiology, and biology. 

The antinomy of mechanism, affirmed by the theoretical rea 
son, and teleology, claimed by the teleological sense, is no more 
insoluble than that of necessity and freedom. 3 Teleology is noth 
ing but a theory concerning phenomena. It no more expresses the 
essence of things than mechanism. This essence is as unknowable 
for the Critique of Judgment as for the Critique of Pure Reason. 
Things-in-themselves are not in time ; they have no succession, no 
duration. According to mechanism, the cause and its effect, ac 
cording to teleology, the free cause, the means, and the goal at 
which it aims, follow each other, i. e. , they are separated in time. 

1 Kritik der Urthezlskraft, pp. 97 ff. ; 399 ft. 
2/</ , pp. 239 ff. Kritik der Vrtheilskraft, pp. 302 ff. 


But time is merely an a priori form of intuition, a mode of con 
ceiving things ; as such and apart from my thought or my theory, 
the cause and the effect of the mechanist, the creative agent, the 
means, and the goal of the teleologist, are in each other, insepar 
able, simultaneous. Imagine an understanding which is not bound 
to the a priori forms of space and time like ours, a free and ab 
solute intellectual intuition : such an understanding would perceive 
the cause, the means, and the end at one glance ; it would identify 
the end and. the principle ; the end would not follow the efficient 
cause, but would be immanent in it and identical with it. Im 
manent teleology, which identifies the ends of nature with the act 
ing causes, is the natural solution of the antinomy of mechanism 
and purposiveness. 

We see that the subjectivity of time and space is the most 
original and, on the whole, the most fruitful of Kant s teachings. 
There is no question so subtle, no problem so obscure, as not to 
be illuminated by it. Space and time are the eyes of the mind, 
the organs which reveal to it its inexhaustible content. These 
organs are at the same time the boundaries of its knowledge. But 
in spite of this insurmountable barrier, it feels free, immortal, and 
divine ; and it declares its independence in the field of action. It 
is the mind which prescribes its laws to the phenomenal world ; it 
is the mind from which the moral law proceeds ; it is the mind and 
its judgment which make the beautiful beautiful. In short, the 
three Critiques culminate in absolute spiritualism. Kant compared 
his work to that of Copernicus : just as the author of the Celestial 
Revolutions puts the sun in the place of the earth in our planetary 
system, so the author of the Critique places the mind in the centre 
of the phenomenal world and makes the latter dependent upon it. 
Kant s philosophy is, undoubtedly, the most remarkable and most 
fruitful product of modern thought. With a single exception, 
perhaps, 1 the greatest systems which our century has produced are 
continuations of Kantianism. Even those and their number has 
grown during the last thirty years who have again taken up the 
Anglo French philosophy of the eighteenth century, revere the 
illustrious name of Immanuel Kant. 

IWe mean the system of Comte, which is closely related to the French 
philosophy of the eighteenth century. Comte himself says, in a letter to 
Gustave d Eichlhal, dated December loth, 1824 : " I have always considered 
Kant not only as a very powerful thinker, but also as the metaphysician who 
most closely approximates the positive philosophy." 



RANT S views of religion appear in his treatise on Religion 
within the Bounds of Pure Reason. The fundamental idea 
of this treatise is the reduction of religion to morality. Between 
morality and religion there may be the twofold relation, that either 
morality is founded upon religion, or else religion upon morality. 
If the first relation were real, it would give us fear and hope as 
principles of moral action ; but this cannot be ; there remains, 
therefore, only the second. Morality leads necessarily to religion, 
because the highest good is a necessary ideal of the reason, and 
this can only be realized through a God ; but in no way may reli 
gion first incite us to virtue, for the idea of God may never become 
a moral motive. Religion, according to Kant, is the recognition 
of all our duties as divine commands. It is revealed religion when 
f must first know that something is a divine command, in order to 
know that it is my duty : it is natural religion when I must first 
know that something is my duty, in order to know that it is a di 
vine command. The Church is an ethical community, which has 
ior its end the fulfilment and the most perfect exhibition of moral 
tommands, a union of those who with united energies purpose to 
resist evil and advance morality. The Church, in so far as it is no 
Voject of a possible experience, is called the invisible Church, 
which, as such, is merely the idea of the union of all the righteous 
under the divine moral government of the world. The visible 
Church, on the other hand, is that which represents the kingdom 
of God upon earth, so far as this can be attained through men. 
The requisites, and hence also the characteristics of the true visi 
ble Church (which are divided according to the table of the cate 
gories since this Church is given in experience) are the following: 

ISchwegler s History of Philosophy. Translated by Seelye. New York 
Appleton Schwegler s compendium has enjoyed the greatest popularity both 
in Germany and abroad, for its accuracy and trustworthiness. 


(a) In respect of quantity the Church must be total or universal; 
and though it may be divided in accidental opinions, yet must it be 
instituted upon such principles as will necessarily lead to a 
universal union in one single church, (b) The quality of the true 
visible Church is purity, as a union under no other than mor^l 
motives, since it is at the same time purified from the stupidness 
i; superstition and the madness of fanaticism, (c) The relation 
of the members of the Church to each other rests upon the principle 
of freedom. The Church is, therefore, zfree state, neither a hie 
rarchy nor a democracy, but a voluntary, universal, and enduring 
spiritual union, (d) In respect of modality the Church demands 
that its constitution should be unchangeable. The laws them 
selves may not change, though one may reserve to himself the 
privilege of changing some accidental arrangements which relate 
simply to the administration That alone which can establish a 
universal Church is the moral faith of the reason, for this alone can 
be shared by the convictions of every man. But, because of the 
peculiar weakness of human nature, we can never reckon enough 
on this pure faith to build a Church on it alone, for men are not 
easily convinced that the striving after virtue and an irreproach 
able life is every thing which God demands : they always suppose 
that they must oft^r to God a special service prescribed by tradi 
tion, which only amounts to this that he is served. 

To establish a Charch, we must therefore have a statutory 
faith historically grouuded npon facts. This is the so-called 
faith of the Church. In every Church there are therefore two ele 
ments the purely moral, or the faith of reason, and the historico- 
statutory, or the faith of the Church It depends now upon the re 
lation of these two elements whether a Church shall have any 
worth or not. The statutory element should ever be only the 
vehicle of the moral element, Just so soon as this element becomes 
in itself an independent end, claiming an independent validity, will 
the Church become corrupt and irrational, and whenever the 
Church passes over to the pure faith of reason, it approximates to 
the kingdom of God. Upon this principle we may distinguish the 
true from the spurious service of the kingdom of God, religion 
from priestcraft. A dogma has worth alone in so far as it has a 
moral content. The apostle Paul himself would scarcely have 
given credit to the dicta- of the creed of the Church without this 
moral faith. From the doctrine of Trinity, e. g. t taken literally, 
nothing actually practical can be derived. Whether we have to 


reverence in the Godhead three persons or ten makes no differ 
ence, if in both cases we have the same rules for our conduct of 
life. The Bible also, with its interpretation, must be considered 
in a moral point of view. The records of revelation must be inter 
preted in a sense which will harmonize with the universal rules of 
the religion of reason. Reason is in religious things the highest 
fnterpreter of the Bible. This interpretation in reference to some 
texts may seem forced, yet it must be preferred to any such literal 
interpretation as would contain nothing for morality, or perhaps 
go against every moral feeling. That such a moral signification 
may always be found without ever entirely repudiating the literal 
sense, results from the fact that the foundation for an ethical reli 
gion lay originally in the human reason. We need only to divest 
the representations of the Bible of their mythical dress (an attempt 
which Kant has himself made, by an ethical interpretation of some 
of the weightiest doctrines), in order to attain for them a rational 
meaning which shall be universally valid. The historical element 
of the sacred books is in itself of no account. The maturer the 
reason becomes, the more it can hold fast for itself the moral sense, 
so much the more unnecessary will be the statutory institutions of 
the faith of the Church. The transition from the creed of the 
Church to the pure faith of reason is the approximation to the 
kingdom of God, to which however, we can only approach nearer 
and nearer in an infinite progress. The actual realization of the 
kingdom of God is the end of the world, the termination of history 


AS a routed army looks around it for a firm point where it may 
hope to collect again into order, so recently there has been 
heard everywhere in philosophic circles the cry, "Retreat tc 
Kant ! " Only more recently, however, has this retreat to Kant 
become a reality, and it is found that at bottom the standpoint of 
the great Konigsberg philosopher could never have been properly 
described as obsolete ; nay, that we have every reason to plunge 
into the depths of the Kantian system with most serious efforts, 
such as have hitherto been spent upon scarcely any other philoso 
pher save Aristotle. 

Misapprehension and impetuous productiveness have com 
bined in an intellectually active age to break through the strict 
barriers which Kant had imposed upon speculation. The reaction 
which succeeded the metaphysical intoxication contributed the 
more to the return to the prematurely abandoned position, as men 
sound themselves again confronted by the Materialism which at 
the appearance of Kant had disappeared and left scarcely a wrack 
behind. At present we have not only a young school of Kantians 
in the narrower and wider sense, but those also who wish to try 
other paths see themselves compelled first to reckon with Kant, 
and to offer a special justification for departing from his ways. 
Even the factitious and exaggerated enthusiam for Schopenhauer s 
philosophy partly owed its origin to a related tendency, whi,"e in 
many cases it formed for more logical minds a transition to Kant. 
But a special emphasis must here be laid on the friendly attitude 
of men of science, who, so far as Materialism failed to satisfy 
them, have inclined for ihe most part to a way of thinking which, 
in very essential points, agrees with that of Kant. 

\History of Materialism. Trans, by Thomas. 3 vols. London : Triibnp 

~o. 1880. 


And it is, in fact, by no means strictly orthodox Kantianism 
upon which we must have laid distinctive stress; least of all that 
dogmatic turn with which Schieiden thought he could crush Mate 
rialism when he compared Kant, Fries, and Apelt with Keppler; 
Newton, and Laplace, and maintained that by their labors the 
ideas "Soul," "Freedom," "God," were as firmly established as 
the laws of the stellar world. Such dogmatism is entirely foreign 
to the spirit of the critique of reason, although Kant personally 
attached great value to his having withdrawn these very ideas 
from the controversy of the schools, by relegating them, as utterly 
incapable as well of positive as negative proof, to the sphere of 
practical philosophy. But the whole of the practical philosophy 
is the variable and perishable part of Kant s philosophy, powerful 
as were its effects upon his contemporaries. Only its site is im 
perishable, not the edifice that the master has erected on this site. 
Even the demonstration of this site, as of a free ground for the 
building of ethical systems, can scarcely be numbered among the 
permanent elements of the system, and therefore, if we are speak 
ing of the salvation of moral ideas, nothing is more unsuitable 
than to compare Kant with Keppler, to say nothing of Newton and 
Laplace. Much rather must we seek for the whole importance of 
the great reform which Kant inaugurated in his criticism of the 
theoretical reason; here lies, in fact, even for ethics, the lasting 
importance of the critical philosophy, which not only aided the 
development of a particular system of ethical ideas, but, if prop 
erly carried on, is capable of affording similar aid to the changing 
requirements of various epochs of culture. 

Kant himself was very far from comparing himself with Kep 
pler; but he made another comparison, that is more significant 
and appropriate. He compared his achievement to that of Coper 
nicus. But this achievement consisted in this, that he reversed 
the previous standpoint of metaphysics. Copernicus dared, "by 
a paradoxical yet true method," to seek the observed motions, no, 
in the heavenly bodies, but in their observers. Not less "para 
doxical" must it appear to the sluggish mind of man when Kant 
lightly and certainly overturns our collective experience, with all 
the historical and exact sciences, by the simple assumption that 
our notions do not regulate themselves according to things, but 
things according to our notions. 1 It follows immediately from 

1 Compare the preface to the second edition of the Critique. Kant indeed 
lets it here appear (note to p. xxii., Hartenst., iii. ao ff.) that in thoroughgoing 


cnis that the objects of experience altogether are only our objects; 
that the whole objective world is, in a word, not absolute objectiv 
ity, but only objectivity for man and any similarly organised be 
ings, while behind the phenomenal world, the absolute nature of 
things, the " thing-in-itself " is veiled in impenetrable darkness. 

criticism he claims the rOle of a Newton, by whose theory had been prtrvta 
what Copernicus in his opinion (comp. as to this vol. I., p. 230) had only pro 
posed as "hypothesis." But for the purpose of gaining a first view of the 
nature of the Kantian reform, the comparison with Copernicus made in the 
preface is more important 



LESSING died at Brunswick in 1781, misunderstood, hated, 
and decried. In the same year appeared at Konigsberg Im- 
manuel Kant s Critique of Pure Reason. With this book 
(which through a singular delay did not become generally known 
till the close of the decade) there begins in Germany an intellectual 
revolution which offers the most striking analogies to the material 
revolution in France, and which must to the deeper thinkers ap 
pear of at least as great importance as the latter. It developed it 
self in the same phases, and between both revolutions there exists 
the most remarkable parallelism. On each side of the Rhine we 
see the same breach with the past ; all respect for tradition is with 
drawn. As here, in France, every privilege, so there, in Germany, 
every thought, must justify itself ; as here, the monarchy, the key 
stone of the old social edifice, so there, deism, the keystone of the 
old intellectual regime, falls from its place. 

Of this catastrophe, the 2ist of January, for deism, we shall 
speak in the concluding part of this volume. A peculiar awe, a 
mysterious piety, overcomes us. Our heart is full of shuddering 
compassion : it is the old Jehovah himself that is preparing for 
death. We have known him so well from his cradle in Egypt, 
where he was reared among the divine calves and crocodiles, the 
sacred onions, ibises, and cats. We have seen him bid farewell to 
these companions of his childhood and to the obelisks and sphinxes 
of his native Nile, to become in Palestine a little god-king amidst 
a poor shepherd people, and to inhabit a temple-palace of his own. 
We have seen him later coming into contact with Assyrian-Baby 
lonian civilisation, renouncing his all-too-human passions, no 

From Religion and Philosophy in Germany. Translated by John Snod- 
grass. Boston : Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1882. This work by Heine is cele 
brated for its trenchant wit, and is the literary story of German philosophy 
par excellence. 




t> o n 

Emmanuel $ a R t 

i g o, 



longer giving vent to fierce wrath and vengeance, at least no 
longer thundering at every trifle. We have seen him migrate to 
Rome, the capital, where he abjures all national prejudices and 
proclaims the celestial equality of all nations, and with such fine 
phrases establishes an opposition to the old Jupiter, and intrigues 
ceaselessly till he attains supreme authority, and from the Capitoi 
rules the city and the world, urbem et orbem. We have seen how, 
growing still more spiritualised, he becomes a loving father, a 
universal friend of man, a benefactor of the world, a philanthro 
pist ; but all this could avail him nothing ! 

Hear ye not the bells resounding? Kneel down. They are 
bringing the sacraments to a dying god ! 

* * * 

It is related that an English mechanician, who had already in 
vented the most ingenious machines, at last took it into his head 
to construct a man ; and that he succeeded. The work of his 
hands deported itself and acted quite like a human being ; it even 
contained within its leathern breast a sort of apparatus of human 
sentiment, differing not greatly from the habitual sentiments of 
Englishmen; it could communicate its emotions by articulate 
sounds, and the noise of wheels in its interior, of springs and es 
capements, which was distinctly audible, reproduced the genuine 
English pronunciation. This automaton, in short, was an accom 
plished gentleman, and nothing was wanting to render it com 
pletely human except a soul. But the English mechanician had 
not the power to bestow on hir work this soul, and the poor 
creature, having become conscious of its imperfection, tormented 
its creator day and night with supplication for a soul. This re 
quest, daily repeated with growing urgency, became at last so in 
supportable to the poor artist that he took to flight in order to es 
cape from his own masterpiece. But the automaton also took the 
mail coach, pursued him over the whole continent, travelled in 
cessantly at his heels, frequently overtook him, and then gnashed 
and growled in his ears, Give me a soul! These two figures may 
now be met with in every country, and he only who knows their 
peculiar relationship to each other can comprehend their unwonted 
haste and their haggard anxiety. But as soon as we are made 
aware of their strange relationship, we at once discover in them 
something of a general character ; we see how one portion of the 
English people is becoming weary of its mechanical existence, and 
is demanding a soul, whilst the other portion, tormented by such i 


request, is driven about in all directions, and that neither of them 
can endure matters at home any longer. 

The story is a terrible one. It is a fearful thing when the 
bodies we have created demand of us a soul ; but it is a far more 
dreadful, more terrible, more awful thing when we have created a 
soul, to hear that soul demanding of us a body, and to behold it 
pursuing us with this demand. The thought to which we have 
given birth is such a soul, and it leaves us no rest until we have 
endowed it with a body, until we have given it sensible reality. 
Thought strives to become action, the word to become flesh, and, 
marvellous to relate, man, like God in the Bible, needs only to ex 
press his thought and the world takes form ; there is light or dark 
ness ; the waters separate themselves from the dry land ; or it may 
even be that wild beasts are brought forth. The world is the sign- 
manual of the word. 

Mark this, ye proud men of action ; ye are nothing but un 
conscious hodmen of the men of thought who, often in humblest 
stillness, have appointed you your inevitable task. Maximilian 
Robespierre was merely the hand of Jean Jacques Rousseau, the 
bloody hand that drew from the womb of time the body whose soul 
Rousseau had created. May not the restless anxiety that troubled 
the life of Jean Jacques have caused such stirrings within him 
that he already foreboded the kind of accoucheur that was needed 
to bring his thought living into the world ? 

Old Fontenelle may have been right when he said : "If I held 
all the truths of the universe in my hand, I would be very careful 
not to open it." I, for my part, think otherwise. If I held all the 
truths of the world in my hand, I might perhaps beseech you in 
stantly to cut off that hand ; but, in any case, I should not long 
hold it closed. I was not born to be a gaoler of thoughts ; by 
Heaven ! I would set them free. What though they were to in 
carnate themselves in the most hazardous realities, what though 
they were to range through all lands like a mad bacchanalian pro 
cession, what though they were to crush with their thyrsus our 
most innocent flowers, what though they were to invade our hos 
pitals and chase from his bed the old sick world my heart would 
bleed, no doubt, and I myself would suffer thereby ! For alas ! I 
too am part of this old sick world, and the poet says truly, one may 
mock at his crutches yet not be able to walk any better for that. I 
am the most grievously sick of you all, and am the more to be 
pitied since I know what health is ; but you do not know it, you 


whom I envy ; you are capable of dying without perceiving your 
dying condition. Yea, many of you are already long since dead, 
though maintaining that your real life is just beginning. When I 
try to dispel such a delusion, then you are angry with me and rail 
at me, and, more horrible still, the dead rush upon and mock at 
me, and more loathsome to me than their insults is the smell of 
their putrefaction. Hence, ye spectres ! I am about to speak of a 
man whose mere name has the might of an exorcism ; I speak of 
Immanuel Kant. 

It is said that night-wandering spirits are filled with terror at 
sight of the headsman s axe. With what mighty fear, then, must 
they be stricken when there is held up to them Kant s Critique 
of Pure Reason \ This is the sword that slew deism in Ger 

To speak frankly, you French have been tame and moderate 
compared with us Germans. At most, you could but kill a king, 
and he had already lost his head before you guillotined him. For 
accompaniment to such deed you must needs cause such a drum 
ming and shrieking and stamping of feet that the whole universe 
trembled. To compare Maximilian Robespierre with Immanuel 
Kant is to confer too high an honour upon the former. Maximil- 
lian Robespierre, the great citizen of the Rue Saint Honore", had, 
it is true, his sudden attacks of destructiveness when it was a ques 
tion of the monarchy, and his frame was violently convulsed when 
the fit of regicidal epilepsy was on ; but as soon as it came to be a 
question about the Supreme Being, he wiped the white froth from 
his lips, washed the blood from his hands, donned his blue Sunday 
coat with silver buttons, and stuck a nosegay in the bosom of his 
broad vest. 

The history of Immanuel Kant s life is difficult to portray, for 
he had neither life nor history. He led a mechanical, regular 
almost abstract bachelor existence in a little retired street of K6- 
nigsberg, an old town on the north eastern frontier of Germany. 
I do not believe that the great clock of the cathedral performed in 
a more passionless and methodical manner its daily routine than 
did its townsman, Immanuel Kant. Rising in the morning, coffee- 
drinking, writing, reading lectures, dining, walking, everything had 
its appointed time, and the neighbours knew that it was exactly 
half-past three o clock when Immanuel Kant stepped forth from 
his house in his grey, tight-fitting coat, with his Spanish cane in 
his hand, and betook himself to the little linden avenue called after 


him to this day the "Philosopher s Walk." Summer and winter 
he walked up and down it eight times, and when the weather was 
dull or heavy clouds prognosticated rain, the townspeople beheld 
his servant, the old Lampe, trudging anxiously behind him with a 
big umbrella under his arm, like an image of Providence. 

What a strange contrast did this man s outward life present to 
his destructive, world annihilating thoughts! In sooth, had the 
citizens of Konigsberg had the least presentiment of the full signifi 
cance of his ideas, they would have felt a far more awful dread at 
the presence of this man than at the sight of an executioner, who 
can but kill the body. But the worthy folk saw in him nothing 
more than a Professor of Philosophy, and as he passed at his 
customary hour, they greeted him in a friendly manner and set 
their watches by him. 

But though Immanuel Kant, the arch-destroyer in the realm 
of thought, far surpassed in terrorism Maximilian Robespierre, he 
had many similarities with the latter, which induce a comparison 
between the two men. In the first place, we find in both the same 
inexorable, keen, poesyless, sober integrity. We likewise find in both 
the same talent of suspicion, only that in the one it manifested 
itself in the direction of thought and was called criticism, whilst in 
the other it was directed against mankind and was styled re 
publican virtue. But both presented in the highest degree the type 
of the narrow-minded citizen. Nature had destined them for 
weighing out coffee and sugar, but fate decided that they should 
weigh out other things, and into the scales of the one it laid a king, 

into the scales of the other a God And they both gave the 

correct weight ! 

The Critique of Pure Reason is Kant s principal work; 
and as none of his other writings is of equal importance, in speak 
ing of it we must give it the right of preference. This book ap 
peared in 1781, but, as already said, did not become generally 
known till 1789. At the time of its publication it was quite over 
looked, except for two insignificant notices, and it was not till a 
later period that public attention was directed to this great book by 
the articles of Schiitz, Schultz, and Reinhold. The cause of this 
tardy recognition undoubtedly lay in the unusual form and bad 
style in which the work is written. As regards his style, Kant 
merits severer censure than any other philosopher, more especially 
when we compare this with his former and better manner of writ 
ing. The recently published collection of his minor works con- 


tains his first attempts, and we are surprised to find in these an ex 
cellent and often very witty style. These little treatises were trilled 
forth while their author ruminated over his great work. There is 
a gleefulness about them like that of a soldier tranquilly arming 
for a combat in which he promises himself certain victory. Espe 
cially remarkable amongst them are his Universal Natural His 
tory and Theory of the Heavens, composed as early as 1755 ; 
Observations on the Emotions of the Sublime and Beautiful 
written ten years later ; and Dreams of a Glioststcr, full of 
admirable humour after the manner of the French essay. Kant s 
wit as displayed in these pamphlets is of quite a peculiar sort. The 
wit clings to the thought, and in spite of its tenuity is thus enable;- 
to reach a satisfactory height. Without such support wit, be it 
ever so robust, cannot be successful ; like a vine-tendril wanting a 
prop, it can only creep along the ground to rot there with all its 
most precious fruits. 

But why did Kant write his Critique of Pure Reason in 
such a colourless, dry, packing-paper style ? I fancy that, having 
rejected the mathematical form of the Cartesio-Leibnitzo-Wolfian 
school, he feared that science might lose something of its dignity 
by expressing itself in light, attractive, and agreeable tones. He 
therefore gave it a stiff, abstract form, which coldly repelled all 
familiarity on the part of intellects of the lower order. He wished 
haughtily to separate himself from the popular philosophers of his 
time, who aimed at the most citizen-like clearness, and so clothed 
his thoughts in a courtly and frigid official dialect. Herein he 
shows himself a true philistine. But it might also be that Kant 
needed for the carefully measured march of his ideas a language 
similarly precise, and that he was not in a position to create a 
better. It is only genius that has a new word for a new thought. 
Immanuel Kant, however, was no genius. Conscious of this de 
fect, Kant, like the worthy Maximilian, showed himself all the 
more mistrustful of genius, and went so far as to maintain, in his 
Critique of the Faculty of Judgment, that genius has no busi 
ness with scientific thought, and that its action ought to be rele 
gated to the domain of art. 

The heavy, buckram style of Kant s chief work has been the 
source of much mischief ; for brainless imitators aped him in his 
external form, and hence arose amongst us the superstition that no 
one can be a philosopher who writes well. The mathematical 
form, however, could not, after the days of Kant, reappear in 


philosophy ; he has mercilessly passed sentence of death upon it in 
his Critique of Pure Reason. The mathematical form in phi 
losophy, he says, is good for nothing save the building of houses 
of cards, in the same way that the philosophic form in mathe 
matics produces nothing but twaddle, for in philosophy there can 
be no definitions such as those in mathematics, where the defini 
tions are not discursive but intuitive, that is to say, capable of be 
ing demonstrated by inspection ; whilst what are called definitions 
in philosophy are only tentatively, hypothetically put forth, the 
real definition appearing only at the close, as the result. 

How comes it that philosophers display so strong a predilec 
tion for the mathematical form ? This predilection dates from the 
time of Pythagoras, who designated the principles of things by 
numbers. This was the idea of a genius : all that is sensible and 
finite is stripped off in a number, and yet it denotes something 
determined, and the relation of this thing to another determined 
thing, which last, designated in turn by a number, receives the 
same insensible and infinite character. In this respect numbers re 
semble ideas that preserve the same character and relation to one 
another. We can indicate by numbers in a very striking manner 
ideas, as they are produced in our mind and in nature; but the 
number still remains the sign of the idea, it is not th-.i idea itself. 
The master is always conscious of this distinction, but the scholar 
forgets it, and transmits to other scholars at second hand merely a 
numerical hieroglyph, dead ciphers, which are repeated with par 
rot-like scholastic pride, but of which the living significance is lost. 
This applies likewise to the other methods of mathematical de 
monstration. The intellect in its eternal mobility suffers no arrest; 
and just as little can it be fixed down by lines, triangles, squares, 
and circles, as by numbers. Thought can neither be calculated 
nor measured. 

As my chief duty is to facilitate in France the study of German 
philosophy, I always dwell most strongly on the external difficulties 
that are apt to dismay a stranger who has not already been made 
aware of them. I would draw the special attention of those who 
desire to make Frenchmen acquainted with Kant to the fact, that 
it is possible to abstract from his philosophy that portion which 
serves merely to refute the absurdities of the Wolfian philosophy. 
This polemic, constantly reappearing, will only tend to produce 
confusion in the minds of Frenchmen, and can be of no utility 
to them. 


The Critique of Pure Reason is, as I have said, Kant s 
principal work, and his other writings are in a measure super 
fluous, or may at least be considered as commentaries. The social 
importance that attaches to his chief work will be apparent from 
what follows. 

The philosophers who preceded Kant reflected, doubtless, on 
the origin of our cognitions, and followed, as we have seen, two 
different routes, according to their view of ideas as a priori or as a 
posteriori; but concerning the faculty of knowing, concerning the 
extent and limits of this faculty, they occupied themselves less. 
Now this was the task that Kant set before himself ; he submitted 
the faculty of knowing to a merciless investigation, he sounded all 
the depths of this faculty, he ascertained all its limits. In this in 
vestigation he certainly discovered that about many things, where 
with formerly we supposed ourselves to be most intimately ac 
quainted, we can know nothing. This was very mortifying ; but it 
has always been useful to know of what things we can know noth 
ing. He who warns us against a useless journey performs as great 
a service for us as he who points out to us the true path. Kant 
proves to us that we know nothing about things as they are in and 
by themselves, but that we have a knowledge of them only in so 
far as they are reflected in our minds. We are therefore just like 
the prisoners of whose condition Plato draws such an afflicting 
picture in the seventh book of his Republic. These wretched be 
ings, chained neck and thigh in such a manner that they cannot 
turn their heads about, are seated within a roofless prison, into 
which there comes from above a certain amount of light. This 
light, however, is the light from a fire, the flame of which rises up 
behind them, and indeed is separated from them only by a little 
wall. Along the outer side of this wall are walking men bearing 
all sorts of statues, images in wood and stone, and conversing with 
one another. Now the poor prisoners can see nothing of these 
men, who are not tall enough to overtop the wall ; and of the 
statues, which rise above the wall, they see only the shadows flit 
ting along the side of the wall opposite them. The shadows, how 
ever, they take for real objects, and, deceived by the echo of their 
prison, believe that it is the shadows that are conversing. 

With the appearance of Kant former systems of philosophy, 
which had merely sniffed about the external aspect of things, as 
sembling and classifying their characteristics, ceased to exist. Kant 
led investigation back to the human intellect, and inquired what 


the latter had to reveal. Not without reason, therefore, did he 
compare his philosophy to the method of Copernicus. Formerly 
when men conceived the world as standing still, and the sun as 
revolving round it, astronomical calculations failed to agree ac 
curately. But w r hen Copernicus made the sun stand still and the 
earth revolve round it, behold ! everything accorded admirably. 
So formerly reason, like the sun, moved round the universe of 
phenomena, and sought to throw light upon it. But Kant bade 
reason, the sun, stand still, and the universe of phenomena now 
turns round, and is illuminated the moment it comes within the 
region of the intellectual orb. 

These few words regarding the task that presented itself to 
Kant will suffice to show that I consider that section of his book 
where he treats of phenomena and noumena as the most impor 
tant part, as the central point, of his philosophy. Kant, in effect, 
distinguishes between the appearances of things and things them 
selves. As we can know nothing of objects except in so far as 
they manifest themselves to us through their appearance, and as 
objects do not exhibit themselves to us as they are in and by 
themselves, Kant gives the name phenomena to objects as they 
appear to us, and noumena to objects as they are in themselves. 
We know things, therefore, only as phenomena ; we cannot know 
them as noumena. The latter are purely problematic; we can 
neither say that they exist nor that they do not exist. The word 
noumena has been correlated with the word phenomena merely 
to enable us to speak of things in so far as they are cognisable 
by us, without occupying our judgment about things that are not 
cognisable by us. Kant did not therefore, as do many teachers 
whom I will not name, make a distinction of objects into phe 
nomena and noumena, into things that for us exist and into 
things that for us do not exist. This would be an Irish bull in 
philosophy. He wished merely to express a notion of limitation. 

God, according to Kant, is a noumenon. As a result of his 
argument, this ideal and transcendental being, hitherto called 
God, is a mere fiction. It has arisen from a natural illusion. Kant 
shows that we can know nothing regarding this noumenon, re 
garding God, and that all reasonable proof of his existence is im 
possible. The words of Dante, "Leave all hope behind !" may be 
inscribed over this portion of the Critique of Pure Reason. 

My readers will, I think, gladly exempt me from attempting a 
popular elucidation of that portion of his work in which Kant 


treats " of the arguments of speculative reason in favour of the ex 
istence of a Supreme Being." Although the formal refutation of 
these arguments occupies but a small space, and is not taken in 
hand till the second part of the book is reached, there is already a 
very evident intention of leading up to this refutation, which forms 
one of the main points of the work. It connects itself with the 
Critique of all Speculative Theology, wherein the last phan 
toms of deism are put to flight. I cannot help remarking that 
Kant, in attacking the three principal kinds of evidence in favour 
of the existence of God, namely, the ontological, the cosmological, 
and the physico-theological, whilst successful, according to my 
opinion, in refuting the latter two, fails with regard to the first. I 
am not aware whether the above terms are understood in this 
country, and I therefore quote the passage from the Critique of 
Pure Reason in which Kant formulates the distinction between 

" There are but three kinds of proof possible to speculative 
reason of the existence of God. All the routes that may be selected 
with this end in view start, either from definite experience and the 
peculiar properties of the external world, as revealed by experi 
ence, and ascend from it according to the laws of causality up to 
the supreme cause above the world ; or, they rest merely on an 
indefinite experience, as, for example, on an existence or being of 
some kind or other ; or, lastly, they make an abstraction from all 
experience, and arrive at a conclusion entirely a priori from pure 
ideas of the existence of the supreme cause. The first of these is 
the physico-theological proof, the second the cosmological, and the 
third the ontological. Other proofs there are none, nor can other 
proofs exist." 

After repeated and careful study of Kant s chief work, I fan 
cied myself able to recognise everywhere visible in it his polemic 
? gainst these proofs of the existence of God ; and of this polemic I 
might speak at greater length were I not restrained by a religious 
sentiment. The mere discussion by any one of the existence of 
God causes me to feel a strange disquietude, an uneasy dread such 
as I once experienced in visiting New Bedlam in London, when, 
for a moment losing sight of my guide, I was surrounded by mad 
men. " God is all that is," and doubt of His existence is doubt of 
life itself, it is death. 

The more blameworthy any dispute regarding the existence ol 
God may be, the more praiseworthy is meditation on the nature .of 


God. Such meditation is a true, worship of God ; the soul is 
thereby detached from the perishable and finite, and attains to 
consciousness of innate love and of the harmony of the universe. 
It is this consciousness that sends a thrill through the heart of the 
emotional man in the act of prayer or in the contemplation of the 
sacred symbols ; and the thinker realises this holy fervour in t*ie 
exercise of that sublime faculty of the mind called reason, a facu iy 
whose highest function is to inquire into the nature of God. Mi;n 
of specially religious temperament concern themselves with this 
problem from childhood upwards ; they are mysteriously troubled 
about it even at the first dawnings of reason. The author of these 
pages is most joyfully conscious of having possessed this early 
primitive religious feeling, and it has never forsaken him. God 
was always the beginning and the end of all my thoughts. If I 
now inquire : What is God ? what is his nature ? as a little child 
I had already inquired : How is God ? what is he like ? In that 
childish time I could gaze upwards at the sky during whole days, 
and was sadly vexed at evening because I never caught a glimpse 
of God s most holy countenance, but saw only the grey silly gri 
maces of the clouds. I was quite puzzled over the astronomical 
lore with which in the "enlightenment period " even the youngest 
children were tormented, and there was no end to my amazement 
on learning that all those thousand millions of stars were spheres 
as large and as beautiful as our own earth, and that over all this 
glittering throng of worlds a single God ruled. I recollect once 
seeing God in a dream far above in the most distant firmament. 
He was looking contentedly out of a little window in the sky, a 
devout hoary-headed being with a small Jewish beard, and he was 
scattering forth myriads of seed-corns, which, as they fell from 
heaven, burst open in the infinitude of space, and expanded to vast 
dimensions till they became actual, radiant, blossoming, peopled 
worlds, each one as large as our own globe. I could never forget 
this countenance, and often in dreams I used to see the cheerful- 
looking old man sprinkling forth the world-seeds from his little 
window in the sky; once I even saw him clucking like our maid 
when she threw down for the hens their barley. I could only see 
how the falling seed-corns expanded into great shining orbs : but 
the great hens that may by chance have been waiting about with 
eager open bills to be fed with the falling orbs I could not see. 

You smile, dear reader, at the notion of the big hens. Yet this 
childish notion is not so very different from the view of the most 


advanced deists. In the attempt to provide a conception of an ex 
tra-mundane God, orient and Occident have exhausted themselves 
in hyperbole. The imagination of deists has, however, vainly tor 
mented itself with the infinitude of time and space. It is here that 
their impotence, the inadequacy of their cosmology, and the unten- 
ableness of their explanation of the nature of God becomes fully ap 
parent. We are not greatly distressed, therefore, at beholding the 
subversion of their explanation. Kant has actually wrought this 
affliction upon them by refuting their demonstration of the exist 
ence of God. 

Nor would the vindication of the ontological proof specially 
benefit deism, for this proof is equally available for pantheism. 
To render my meaning more intelligible, I may remark that the 
ontological proof is the one employed by Descartes, and that long 
before his time, in the Middle Ages, Anselm of Canterbury had ex 
pressed it in the form of an affecting prayer. Indeed, St. Augustine 
may be said to have already made use of the ontological proof in 
the second book of his work, De Libero Arbitrio. 

I refrain, as I have said, from all popular discussion of Kant s 
polemic against these proofs. Let it suffice to give an assurance 
that since his time deism has vanished from the realm of specu 
lative, reason. It may, perhaps, be several centuries yet before 
this melancholy notice of decease gets universally bruited about; 
we, however, have long since put on mourning. De Profundis! 

You fancy, then, that we may now go home ! By my life, no! 
there is yet a piece to be played ; after the tragedy comes the 
farce. Up to this point Immanuel Kant has pursued the path of 
inexorable philosophy ; he has stormed heaven and put the whole 
garrison to the edge of the sword ; the ontological, cosmological, 
and physico theological bodyguards lie there lifeless; Deity itself, 
deprived of demonstration, has succumbed; there is now no All- 
mercifulness, no fatherly kindness, no other-world reward for re 
nunciation in this world, the immortality of the soul lies in its last 
agony you can hear its groans and death-rattle ; and old Lampe 
is standing by with his umbrella under his arm, an afflicted spec 
tator of the scene, tears and sweat-drops of terror dropping from 
his countenance. Then Immanuel Kant relents and shows that he 
is not merely a great philosopher but also a good man ; he reflects, 
and half good-naturedly, half ironically, he says: "Old Lampe 
must have a God, otherwise the poor fellow can never be happy. 
Now, man ought to be happy in this world ; practical reason says 


so ; well, I am quite willing that practical reason should also 
guarantee the existence of God." As the result of this argument 
Kant distinguishes between the theoretical reason and the practi 
cal reason, and by means of the latter, as with a magician s wand, 
he revivifies deism, which theoretical reason had killed. 

But is it not conceivable that Kant brought about this resur 
rection, not merely for the sake of old Lampe, but through fear of 
the police? Or did he act from sincere conviction? Was not his 
object in destroying all evidence for the existence of God to show 
us how embarrassing it might be to know nothing about God ? In 
doing so, he acted almost as sagely as a Westphalian friend of 
mine, who smashed all the lanterns in the Grohnder Street in Got- 
tingen, and then proceeded to deliver to us in the dark a long 
lecture on the practical necessity of lanterns, which he had the 
oretically broken in order to show how, without them, we could 
see nothing. 

I have already said that on its appearance the Critique of 
Pure Reason did not cause the slightest sensation, and it was not 
till several years later, after certain clear-sighted philosophers had 
written elucidations of it, that public attention was aroused regard 
ing the book. In the year 1789, however, nothing else was talked 
of in Germany but the philosophy of Kant, about which were 
poured forth in abundance commentaries, chrestomathies, inter 
pretations, estimates, apologies, and so forth. We need only glance 
through the first philosophic catalogue at hand, and the innumer 
able works having reference to Kant will amply testify to the in 
tellectual movement that originated with this single man. In some 
it exhibited itself as an ardent enthusiasm, in others as an acrid 
loTthing, in many as a gaping curiosity regarding the result of this 
intellectual revolution. We had popular riots in the world of 
thought, just as you had in the material world, and over the dem 
olition of ancient dogmatism we grew as excited as you did at the 
Storming of the Bastille. There was also but a handful of old pen 
sioners left for the defence of dogmatism, that is, the philosophy 
of Wolf. It was a revolution, and one not wanting in horrors. 
Amor.pst the party of the past, the really good Christians showed 
least indignation at these horrors. Yea, they desired even greater, 
in order that the measure of iniquity might be full, and the coun 
ter-revolution be more speedily accomplished as a necessary re 
action. We had pessimists in philosophy as you had in politics. 
As in France there were people who maintained that Robespierre 


was the agent of Pitt, with us there were many who went so far in 
their wilful blindness as to persuade themselves that Kant was in 
secret alliance with them, and that he had destroyed all philo 
sophic proofs of the existence of God merely in order to convince 
the world that man can never arrive at a knowledge of God by the 
help of reason, and must therefore hold to revealed religion. 

Kant brought about this great intellectual movement less by 
the subject-matter of his writings than by the critical spirit that 
pervaded them, a spirit that now began to force its way into all 
sciences. It laid hold of all constituted authority. Even poetry 
did not escape its influence. Schiller, for example, was a strong 
Kantist, and his artistic views are impregnated with the spirit of 
the philosophy of Kant. By reason of its dry, abstract character, 
this philosophy was eminently hurtful to polite literature and the 
fine arts Fortunately it did not interfere in the art of cookery. 

The German people is not easily set in motion ; but let it be 
once forced into any path and it will follow it to its termination 
with the most dogged perseverance. Thus we exhibited our char- 
icter in matters of religion, thus also we now acted in philosophy. 
Shall we continue to advance as consistently in politics ? 

Germany was drawn into the path of philosophy by Kant, and 
philosophy became a national cause. A brilliant troop of great 
thinkers suddenly sprang up on German soil, as if called into be 
ing by magical art. If German philosophy should some day find, 
as the French revolution has found, its Thiers and its Mignet, its 
history will afford as remarkable reading as the works of these 
authors. Germans will study it with pride, and Frenchmen with 


KANT S greatest merit is the distinction of the phenomenon 
from the thing in itself, based upon the proof that between 
things and us there still always stands the intellect, so that they 
cannot be known as they may be in themselves. He was led into 
this path through Locke (see Prolegomena, 13, Note 2). The 
latter had shown that the secondary qualities of things, such as 
sound, smell, color, hardness, softness, smoothness, and the like, 
as founded on the affections of the senses, do not belong to the 
objective body, to the thing in itself. To this he attributed only 
the primary qualities, i. e., such as only presuppose space and im 
penetrability ; thus extension, figure, solidity, number, mobility. 
But this easily discovered Lockeian distinction was, as it were, 
only a youthful introduction to the distinction of Kant. The lat 
ter, starting from an incomparably higher standpoint, explains all 
that Locke had accepted as primary qualities, i. e., qualities of 
the thing in itself, as also belonging only to its phenomenal ap 
pearance in our faculty of apprehension, and this just because the 
conditions of this faculty, space, time and causality, are known by 
us a priori. Thus Locke had abstracted from the thing in itself 
the share which the organs of sense have in its phenomenal ap 
pearance ; Kant, however, further abstracted the share of the 
brain-functions (though not under that name). Thus the distinc 
tion between the phenomenon and the thing in itself now received 
an infinitely greater significance and a very much deeper meaning. 
For this end he was obliged to take in hand the important separa 
tion of our a priori from our a posteriori knowledge which be 
fore him had never been carried out with adequate strictness and 
completeness, nor with distinct consciousness. Accordingly this 

IFrom the World as Will and Idea. Trans, by Haldane and Kemp. 
3 vols. Third edition. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Triibner & Co. 1896. 



f < 

now became the principal subject of his profound investigations 
Now here we would at once remark thit Kant s philosophy has a 
threefold relation to that of his predecessors. First, as we have 
just seen, to the philosophy of Locke, confirming and extending 
it; secondly, to that of Hume, correcting and making use of it, a 
relation which is most distinctly expressed in the Prolegomena 
(that most beautiful and comprehensible of all Kant s important 
writings, which is far too little read, for it facilitates immensely 
the study of b ; s philosophy), thirdly, a decidedly polemical and 
destructive relation to the Leibnitz-Wolfian philosophy. All three 
systems ought to be known before one proceeds to the study of the 
Kantian philosophy. Now as Kant s separation of the phenome 
non from the thing in itself, arrived at in the manner explained 
above, far surpassed all that preceded it in the depth and thonght- 
fulness of its conception, it was also exceedingly important in its 
results. For in it he propounded, quite originally, in a perfectly 
new way, found from a new side and on a new path, the same 
truth which Plato never wearies of repeating, and in his language 
generally expresses thus: This world which appears to the senses 
has no true being, but only a ceaseless becoming; it is, and it is 
not, and its comprehension is not so much knowledge as illusion. 
This is also what he expresses mythically at the beginning of the 
seventh book of the Republic, which is the most important passage 
in all his writings. He says: "Men, firmly chained in a dark 
cave, see neither the true original light nor real things, but only 
the meagre light of the fire in the cave and the shadows of real 
things which pass by the fire behind their backs; yet they think 
the shadows are the reality, and the determining of the succession 
of these shadows is true wisdom." The same truth, again quite 
differently presented, is also a leading doctrine of the Vedas and 
Puranas, the doctrine of Maya, by which really nothing else is 
understood than what Kant calls the phenomenon in opposition to 
the thing in itself; for the work of Miya is said to be just this 
visible world in which we are, a summoned enchantment, an in 
constant appearance without true being, like an optical illusion or 
a dream, a veil which surrounds human consciousness, something 
of which it is equally false and true to say that it is and that it is 
not. But Kant not only expressed the same doctrine in a com 
pletely new and original way, but raised it to the position of proved 
and indisputable truth by means of the calmest and most tempe 
rate exposition; while both Plato and the Indian philosophers had 


founded their assertions merely upon a general perception of the 
world, bad advanced them as the direct utterance of their con 
sciousness, and presented them rather mythically and poetically 
than philosophically and distinctly. In this respect they stand to 
Kant in the same relation as the Pythagoreans Hicetas, Philolaus, 
and Aristarchus, who already asserted the movement of the earth 
round the fixed sun, stand to Copernicus. Such distinct knowl 
edge and calm, thoughtful exposition of this dream-like nature of 
the whole world is really the basis of the whole Kantian philoso 
phy ; it is its soul and its greatest merit. He accomplished this 
by taking to pieces the whole machinery of our intellect by means 
of which the phantasmagoria of the objective world is brought 
about, and presenting it in detail with marvellous insight and abil 
ity. All earlier Western philosophy, appearing in comparison with 
the Kantian unspeakably clumsy, had failed to recognise that 
truth, and had therefore always spoken just as if in a dream. 
Kant first awakened it suddenly out of this dream ; therefore the 
last sleepers (Mendelssohn) called him the "all-destroyer." He 
show, d that the laws which reign with inviolable necessity in ex 
istence, i. e., in experience generally, are not to be applied to de 
duce and explain existence itself; that thus the validity of these 
laws is only relative, i. e., only arises after existence; the world 
of experience in general is already established and present ; that 
consequently these laws cannot be our guide when we come to the 
explanation of the existence of the world and of ourselves. All 
earlier Western philosophers had imagined that these laws, ac 
cording to which the phenomena are combined, and all of which 
time and space, as well as causality and inference I comprehend 
under the expression "the principle of sufficient reason," were 
absolute laws conditioned by nothing, ccternce ventatcs \ that the 
world itself existed only in consequence of and in conformity with 
them ; and therefore that under their guidance the whole riddle of 
the world must be capable of solution. The assumptions made 
for this purpose, which Kant criticises under the name of the Idecs 
of the reason, only served to raise the mere phenomenon, the work 
of Maya, the shadow world of Plato, to the one highest reality, to 
put it in the place of the inmost and true being of things, and 
thereby to make the real knowledge of this impossible; that is, in 
a word, to send the dreamers still more soundly to sleep. Kant 
exhibited these laws, and therefore the whole world, as conditioned 
by the form of knowledge belonging to the subject ; from which it 


followed, that however far one carried investigation and reasoning 
under the guidance of these laws, yet in the principal matter, i. e., 
in knowledge of the nature of the world in itself and outside the 
idea, no step in advance was made, but one only moved like a 
squirrel in its wheel. Thus, all the dogmatists may be compared 
to persons who supposed that if they only went straight on long 
enough they would come to the end of the world ; but Kant then 
circumnavigated the world and showed that, because it is round, 
one cannot get out of it by horizontal movement, but that yet by 
perpendicular movement this is perhaps not impossible. We may 
also say that Kant s doctrine affords the insight that we must seek 
the end and beginning of the world, not without, but within us. 



IN all his metaphysical work Kant was not pursuing a religious 
course and was in fact becoming less and less of a Christian. 
He was, however, no more contracted in his philosophical view of 
the limits of reason than he was in all the ways of his life. " His 
body was extremely emaciated, and at last it was dried like a pot 
sherd," said one who knew him well. He was hollow-chested, and 
one shoulder was too low. Not five feet high, his bones were 
small and weak, and bis muscles still weaker (Stiickenburg, p. 93). 
He had strong prejudice against the Jews (Jbid., p. 116). He took 
no interest in other philosophers (Ibid., p. 124). Though be wrote 
much in the field of theology, he knew almost nothing of theolo 
gians (Ibid., p. 359). He did not answer letters (1 bid., p. 127). 
He held to his views after rebutting facts were shown him, and 
would contradict foreigners who spoke of their own countries in a 
manner to interfere with his preconceived ideas (Ibid., p. 141). 
He lived in the same small city with his two sisters, yet did not 
speak to them for twenty-five years because of their inferior posi 
tion (Ibid., p. 182). He spoke contemptuously of women and \vas 
especially hostile to those of any mental power (Ibid , p 784). Ore 
of his jokes was that there can be no women in heaven, for it is 
written that there was silence there for the space of half an hour 
(Ibid., p. 187), and this from a man who always did the talking 
wherever he was and who listened to another with marked impa 
tience (Ibid., p. 141). He did not desire friendships, for " it is a 
great burden to be tied to the fate of others and to be loaded with 
their needs " (Ibid. , p. 193). He said that he did not know the 
meaning of the word " spirit" (Ibid., p. 240). With Hume he held 

IThis amusing compilation of data concerning Kant s life and personal 
ity appeared in the New Church Review (Boston) of January, 1901. 


that we have no knowledge of God (Ibid., p. 290). He saw no 
use in revelation (Ibid., p. 335). H-3 identified religion with mere 
morality (Ibid., p. 338). He never attended church and spoke of 
prayer as ridiculous (Ibid , p. 354). His views against religion 
led students to become mockers (Ibid., p. 358). His old age was 
unhappy (Ibid., p. 425), and his rigidity of habits became repul 
sive in the last degree (Ibid., p. 435). He died February 12, 1804, 
after fifteen years of mental decline. 



Lieber Bruder ! 

Bei dem Besuche, den Ueberbringer dieses, Herr Reimer, ein 
Verwandter von Deiner Frau, meiner werthen Schwagerin, bei 
mir abelegt hat, ermangle ich nicht, was sich meiner iiberhauften 
Beschaftigungen wegen nur in ausserordentlichen Fallen thun 
lasst, mich bei Dir durch einen Brief in Erinnerung zu bringen. 
Unerachtet dieser scheinbaren Gleichgtiltigkeit habe ich an Dich, 
nicht allein so lange wir beiderseitig leben, oft genug, sondern 
auch fur meinen Sterbefall, der in meinem Alter von 68 Jahren 
doch nicht mehr sehr entfernt sein kann, briiderlich gedacht. 
Unsere zwei iibrigen, beide verwittweten, Schwestern sind, die 
alteste, welche fiinf erwachsene und zura Theil schon verhei- 
rathete Kinder bat, ganzlich durch mich, die andere, welche im 
St. Georgenhospital eingekauft ist, durch meinen Zuschuss ver- 
sorgt. Den Kindern der ersteren habe ich, bei ihrer anfanglichen 
hauslichen Einrichtung und auch nacbher, meinen Beistand nicht 
versagt; so dass, was die Pflicht der Dankbarkeit, \vegen der uns 
von unsern gemeinschaftlichen Eltern gewordenen Erziehnng for- 
dert, nicht versSumt wird. Wenn Du mir einmal von dem Zu- 
stande Deiner eigenen Familie Nachricht geben willst, so wird es 
mir angenehm sein. 

Uebrigens bin ich, in Begriissung meiner mir sehr wertben 
Schwagerin, mit unveranderlicher Zuneigung 

Dein treuer Bruder 

KONIGSBERG, den 26. Januar 1792. I. KANT. 


Taking advantage of the visit which the bearer of this letter 
Herr Reimer, a relative of your wife, my esteemed sister-in-law 

iSee the facsimile of the German original on the opposite page. 


has paid me, I do not omit to recall myself to your memory, 
although owing to my over-burdening labors this is something that 
I allow myself only in extraordinary cases. Notwithstanding this 
apparent indifference, I have, however, frequently thought of you 
with brotherly regard, not only for this present life, but also in 
case of my death, which at my age of 68 years cannot be far dis 
tant. Of our two remaining widowed sisters, the eldest, who has 
five adult children, some of whom are married, has been entirely 
supported by me, and the younger, for whom admission to the St. 
George s Hospital has been purchased, is also provided for. I 
have also not refused assistance to the children of the former, on 
their establishing their first homes, and even afterwards ; so that 
there has been no neglect of the duty of gratitude that we owe to 
our common parents for the education they gave us. If you will 
inform me of the condition of your own family, I shall be gratified. 

With regards to my much-esteemed sister-in-law, I remain, 
with constant affection, 

Your Faithful Brother, 


KONIGSBKRG, January 26, 1792. 


1724 Immanuel Kant born on 
April 22. 

1728 Lambert born. 

1729 Lessing born. 

1729 Mendelssohn born. 

1730 Hamann born. 

1732 Kant enters the Frideri- 
ciannm, an academy in 

1735 Kant s brother Johann 
Heinrich born. 

1737 Kant s mother dies. 
1740 Kant matriculates at the 
University of Konigsberg 

1740 Frederick II. ascends 
the throne. 

1740 Feder born. 

1742 Garve born. 

1744 Herder born. 
1746 Kant s first publication : 
Gtdanken von der vjah- 
ren Schatzung der leben- 
digen Krdfte (Thoughts 
on the True Measure 
ment of Living Forces). 

1746 Kant s father dies. 

1749 Goethe born. 

1751 M. Knutzen dies. 

1754 Christian Wolff dies. 

1754 Investigation of the ques 

tion, Whether the earth 
in its rotation about its 
axis has suffered any al 

1754. Investigation of the ques 
tion, Whether the earth 
is growing old. (Both 
questions treated in the 
KSnigsberger Nachr.}. 

1755 AUgcm. Naturgeschichte 

und Theorie des Him- 
mels (General Natural 
History and Theory of 
the Heavens). 

1755 Kant takes his degree with 

the treatise De Jgnc, and 
qualifies as a university 
lecturer with the treatise, 
cognitionis mcta-physicce 
nova dilucidatio. 
1756-1763 Seven Years 
War. The Russians in 

1756 Disputation on the treatise 

Monadologia physica. 
1756 Three small essays in the 
Kdnigsberger Nachr., 

1 From Paulsen s Life of Kant, Fromann s Klassiker der Philasofhi t Stutt 
gart, 1898. 



on Earthquakes. (Evoked 
by the Lisbon earthquake 

0* I755-) 

1756 New notes in elucidation 

of the Theory of the 

1757 Outline and Announcement 

of a course of Lectures 
on Physical Geography, 
with a brief supplemen 
tary consideration of the 
question whether the 
west winds in our locality 
are moist because of b.iv- 
ing passed over a broad 
stretch of sea 

1758 New Scientific Conception 

of Motion and Rest. 

1759 Some Tentative Considera 

tions of Optimism. 
1759 Schiller born. 
1762 Fichte born 
1762 Publication of Rous 
seau s Jzmile and Contrat 

1762 Die falsche Spitzfindig- 
keit der vicr syllogisti- 
schen /^iguren ertviescn 
(The Erroneous Sophis 
try of the Four Syllogistic 
Figures Demonstrated). 

1762 Der eir.zig mogliche Be- 
weisgrund zu einer De 
monstration vom Da- 
sein Gottes (The Only 
Possible Basis of a Dem 
onstration of the Exist 
ence of God). 

1762 Untersuchung ilbcr die 
Deutlichkcit der Grund- 
sdtze der natiirluhen 

Theologie und Moral 
(Researches on the Dis 
tinctness of the Princi 
ples of Natural Theology 
and Morals). (Prcis- 
schnft der Berliner 
Akademie, printed in 

1763 1 ersuch, den Be griff der 

negativen Grosscn in 
die II eltzveisheit einzu- 
fiihren (Attempt to In 
troduce the Notion of 
Negative Quantities into 
1763 F. A. Schultz dies. 

1764 1 ersuch iibcr die Krank- 

hciten des Koffes (Essay 
on the Diseases of the 
Head ) {R onigsb. Ztg.}. 

1764 Beobachtungen tiber das 

Gefiihl des Schonen und 
F.rhabenen (Observa 
tions on the Feeling of 
the Beautiful and the 

1765 Information on the Plan 

of his Lectures. 

1766 Trdume eines Geister- 
sehers, erldutert durch 
TrciurAe der Metaphysik 
(Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, 

1766 Gottsched dies. 
1768 Von dem erst en Grunde 
des Unterschieds der 
G eg end en im Ruum (On 
the Fundamental Reason 
for the Difference of Lo 
calities in Space). (A ffn. 
Nachr. ) 



1770 Kant obtains his full pro 
fessorship in logic and 

1770 Disputatio de mundi sen- 

sibilis atque inteliigi- 

bilisforma et principiis. 

1770 (Holbach) Systeme de 

la nature. 

1775 Von den verschiedenen 
Racen des Menschen 
(Ankiindigung der I or- 
lesungen iibcr physische 
Geograph ie) . (On the 
Different Races of Men.) 

1776 Ufber das Dessauer Phi 

lanthropic. (Kon. Ztg.) 

1776 North American Dec 
laration of Independence. 

1776 Hume dies. 

1778 Voltaire dies. 

1778 Rousseau dies. 

1780 Joseph II. ascends the 

1781 Lessing dies. 

1781 Kritik dcr reinen Ver- 
nunft (Critique of Pure 

1783 Prolegomena zu einer 
jedcn kiinftigen Afeta- 
physik, die als IVj ssen- 
schaft zvird auflretcn 
konnen (Prolegomena to 
Every Future Metaphys 
ics, etc.). 

784 Idee zu einer allgemeinen 
Gesch. in iveltbiirger- 
licher Absicht (Ideas for 
a Universal History, etc.). 

1784 Beantuuortung dcr Frage 

Was ist Aufkldrung? 
(Both the preceding ar 

ticles in the Berliner 

1785 Criticisms of Herder s 
Ideen zur Fhilos. der 
Geschichte. (Jenaische 
Litter aturztg.) 

1785 Ueber Vnlkane im Monde 
(On Volcanoes in the 

1785 Von der Unrechtmassig- 
keit dcs Bilchernath- 
drucks (On the Illegality 
of Literary Piracy). 

1785 Bestimmung des Be griffs 
einer AIenschenrace(D&- 
termination of the Con 
cept of a Race of Men). 

1785 Grundlcgung zur AJcla- 

physik der Sit ten (Foun 
dation of the Metaphys 
ics of Morals). 

1786 Altitmasslictier Anfavg 

der RIenschengcschichle 
(Presumable Origin of 
Human History). (Berl 
Monatssckrift. ) 

1786 Was heisst sick im Pen- 
ken orientieren ? (What 
is the Meaning of Orien 
tation inThinking?) (Ber 
liner Afonatsschrift.) 

1786 Aletap hys ische Anfangs- 
grttnde der Naturu is- 
senschaften (Metaphys 
ical Rudiments of the 
Natural Sciences). 
1786 Frederick the Great 
dies, Frederick William 
II. ascends the throne. 
1788 Wollner s religious 



1788 Ueber den Gebrauch tcleo- 
logischer Prinzipien in 
der Philosophic (On the 
Use of Teleological Prin 
ciples in Philosophy). 
(Deutsch. Aferk.). 

1788 Kritik der praktischen 
Vermmft (Critique of 
Practical Reason). 
1789 French Revolution. 

1790 Kritih der Urteilskraft 
(Critique of the Judg 

1790 Ueber Philosophic iiber- (erste Einl. zur 
A r. d. Urt.) (On Philos 
ophy in General). 

1790 Ueber tine Entdeckung, 
nach der alle neue Kri 
tik der reinen I 7 er nun ft 
durch cine dltere ent- 
behrlich gemacht rver- 
den soil (On a Discovery 
by which, etc.). (Against 

1790 Ueber Schivarmerci und 

die Mittcl dag eg en (On 
Gushing and the Means 
for its Prevention). 

1791 Ueber das Afisslingen 
aller philos. Versitchein 
der Theodicee (On the 
Failure of all Philosoph 
ical Attempts in Theod 
icy). (Berl. A/on.) 

1792 Vom radikalen Bosen (On 

the Radically Bad). 
(Berl. Man ) 

1792 The continuation of 
the foregoing articles is 

prohibited by the Berlin 

1793 Religion innerhalb der 
Crenzen der blossen Ver 
nunft (Religion within 
the Bounds of Mere Rea 

1793 Ueber den Gemcinspruch . 

Das mag in der Theorie 
nchtig sein, tangt aber 
nichtfUr die Praxis (On 
the Maxim : Good in 
Theory, but Bad in Prac 
tice). (Berl. Man.) 

1794 Etivas tiber den Einfluss 

des Monde s auf die 
Witterung (On the In 
fluence of the Moon on 
the Weather). (Berliner 

1794 Pas Endc aller Dinge 
(The End of all Things). 
(Berl. Afon.) 

1794 Cabinet order of the King 

and Kant s promise to 
write nothing more on re 
1795 Peace of Basel. 

1795 Zum eTjjigen Frieden (On 

Universal Peace). 

1796 Kant discontinues his lec 


1796 Von einem neuer dings er- 
hobenen, vornehmen Ton 
in der Philosophic (On a 
Recent Aristocratic Tone 
in Philosophy). (Berl. 

1796 Announcement of the ap 
proaching completion of 



a tract on Universal 
Peace in Philosophy. 

1797 Metaphysische Anfangs- 
grilnde der RechtsleJire 
(Metaphysical Rudiments 
of Jurisprudence). 

1797 Metaphysische Anfangs- 
grilnde der Tugendlehre 
(Metaphysical Rudiments 
of Morals). 

1797 Ueber ein vcrmeintes 
Recht aus Mcnschenliebe 
zu liigen (On a Supposed 
Right to Lie out of Love 
for Man). 

1797 Frederick William II. 
dies and is succeeded by 
Frederick William III. 
WSllner dismissed. 

1798 Ueber die Buchmacherei. 

Briefe an Fr Ni- 

colai (On Bookmaking 
Two Letters to Fr. Nico- 

1798 Der Streit der Fakultdten 
(The Battle of the Facul 

1798 Anthropologie in l>rag- 
matischer llinsicht. 

1800 Logic, edited by Jasche. 

1802 Physical Geography, ed 

ited by Rink. 

1803 Pedagogy, edited by Rink. 

1804 On the Prize Question of 

the Berlin Academy : 
What Real Progress has 
Metaphysics made inGer- 
many, since the Times 
of Leibnitz and Wolff? 
Edited by Rink. 
1804 Kant dies on February 12. 


(Pages 1-163.) 

Accidents, 99. 

Actions as appearances subject to 
necessity, 113. 

Actuality, 66. 

Addition and arithmetic, 36. 

Air is elastic, 57-59- 

Alchemy, 140. 

Analogy, cognition by, 129. 

Analytical and synthetical, 14-15, 17, 
18, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27. 

Analytics and dialectics, 27. 

Anschauung (visualisation), 17, 18, at, 
30, 34, 120, 126, 140, 146 ; and mathe 
matics, 32. 

Antecedent, 53 ; and consequent, 72. 

Anthropomorphism, 128, 130; avoided, 
13 . 

Antinomy, 105 et seq., 108. 

Apodeictic, 18, 33; and necessary, 35; 
and a priori, 144 ; certainty of meta 
physics, 157. 

Appearance, properties of a body be 
long to, 44; and insufficiency, 126. 

Appearances, space the form of, 40; 
geometry prescribes to, 41 ; objects 
are mere, 42; and sensuous per 
ception, 45; and things in them, 
selves, 75 ; actions as, subject to 
necessity, 113. 

Application o f a priori to experience, 

A priori, 70; knowledge and meta 
physics, 14; and synthetical, 15,26, 
29, 33 ; judgment (body is extended), 
16; necessity, 16; and pure mathe 
matics, 17, 32; the materials of 
metaphysics, 23; and necessity, 28; 
at the bottom of metaphysics, 31 ; 
and its application to experience, 

34; anticipating actuality, 35; at 
the basis of the empirical, 36 ; apo- 
deictically certain, 37; intuition 
and three dimensions, 37; is it a 
phantasm ? 47; things not cognised, 
50; principles, 60; rules, 64 ; origin 
of pure concepts, 73 ; basis of the 
possibility of laws, 80; laws, basis 
of the possibility of nature, 81; 
geometrical laws, 83; and system; 
85; understanding determined, 137; 
concepts, sources of, 139; definite 
and compact, 141 ; and apodeicti- 
cal. 144; transcendent and tran 
scendental, 150, 151; missing in 
Berkeley, 153. 

Aristotle, 86. 

Arithmetic and addition, 36. 

Association, law of, 4. 

Astrology, 140. 

Axioms, 60. 

Baumgarten, 19. 
Beattie, 5, 6. 

Beginning, the world has a, 105. 
Being, a, conceived for comprehend 
ing the connexion, order, and unity 

of the world, 117. 
Beings of understanding, na. 
Berkeley, 151, 152; his idealism, 49; 

a priori missing in, 152; dogmatic 

idealism of, 153. 
Bodies, primary qualities of, 43~44; 

mere representations, 43. 
Body, thing in itself, as, 103. 
Boundary, theology (natural) looks 

beyond, 134 ; and limits, 133. 
Bounds, not limits, 123; and limits 

125; of pure reason, 120, 124. 



Categories, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 105 ; of 
deeper meaning, 76; and under 
standing, 92; and logical functions, 

Causality, 22; and succession, in. 

Cause, 4, 53, 98 ; a pure concept of 
the understanding, 58; is super- 
added, 59;. and effect, 66; of con 
nexions in the world, 131. 

Challenge, 144. 

Challenging the critic, 157. 

Chimeras, 75. 

Chisels and engraver s needle, 6-7. 

Circle, law of the. 82. 

Cognition, 45 ; of the understanding, 
93; analogy, 129; insufficiency of 
the, 136. 

Common sense, 6, 27, 29, 145; no right 
to judge in metaphysics, 7; appeal 
to, 144; and metaphysics, 146. 

Community, 66. 

Composite; everything is, 106. 

Concepts, of reason, 95 ; having their 
origin in reason, 118. 

Conflict of reason, 116. 

Congruent, the two hands not, 39, 

Connexions in the world, cause of, 

Consciousness, subject of, 103. 

Consequent and antecedent, 72. 

Construction and experience, 146. 

Contradiction, law of, 16, 22, 27; and 
synthetical judgments, 15. 

Contrast of right and left, 39. 

Cosmological idea. 104, 105. 

Crazy-quilt of metaphysics, 154. 

Criteria of truth, universal and nec 
essary laws, 152. 

Criterion of truth, 103. 

Critical idealism, 49, 153. 

Critical question, 24. 

Criticism, standard given by, 163; 
and metaphysics, 162. 

Critique, contains plan of metaphys 
ics, 139 ; justified, 158 ; whoever 
has once tasted, etc.. 140. 

Crusius s compromise, 81. 

Degree, 66, 68. 

Descartes, 48; his sceptical idealism. 

Determinability and necessity, 1x4 
Dialectics an-i analytics, 27. 
Difieience of equal figures, 38-39. 
Diffuseness of the plan, 8. 
Dogmatics, downfall of, 141. 
Dogmatic slumber, Kant s, 7. 
Dogmatic twaddle, 140. 
Dogmatism and scepticism, 24, 138. 
Dreaming idealism, 49. 

Effect and cause, 66. 

Effect happens in time, in. 

Ego, 100, 103. 

Eleatic school, 151. 

Empirical idealism, 48. 

Empirical intuition, 33. 

Empirical judgments, 16, 54, 55. 

Engraver s needle, chisels and, 6-7. 

Equal figures, difference of, 38-39. 

Experience, 16, 57, 58, 63; geometry 
holds all possible, 46; illusion in 
transgressing. 48; and things in 
themselves, 51; objects of pos 
sible, 53 ; judgments of, 54, 55, 57. 
62,63; possibility of, 60; intuitions 
and judgments, 62; understanding 
makes it possible, 84 ; analogy of, 
101 ; and the real, 102; things in 
themselves the basis of, 124, and 
construction, 146; truth in, 151. 

Facility of solution, 28. 

Faculty of beginning from itself, 
freedom a, 112-115. 

Fiction, previous to our acquaint 
ance, space would be mere, 41. 

Foam, metaphysics like, 21. 

Formal, 104. 

Form, of intuition, a priori, 35 ; of 
sensibility, pure intuition a, 36; 
without perception remains, 127. 

Four ideas of reason, 107. 

Freedom, 114; and nature, 106. a 
faculty of beginning from itself, 
112-115; and reason, 113; rescued, 
practical, 114; natural necessity 
and, 115. 

Functions of the understanding, 60. 

Fundamental principles, 64. 

Geometry, and space, 36; necessarily 
valid of space, 40 : objects coincide 



with, 41 ; prescribes to appear 
ances, 41 ; holds all possible expe 
rience, 46. 

Geometrical laws, 83. 

Geometrical sources, 83. 

Cetetzmussigkeit, 52. 

God. (See Bf inf.) 

Gothaische gelehrte Zritung, 156. 

Gottingensche gelehrten Ameigen, 149. 

Hand, right and left, 39,40. 

Helices, symmetric, 40. 

History of philosophy, i. 

Horace, 3, 27. 

Hume, David, 3, 4 6, 7, 10, 19, 21, 28, 
71,121,127, 130, 132; his problem, 
5, 8, 73; his spark of light, 7; his 
doubts, 9, 70 

Hyperphysical, 52. 

Idealism, 44, 150, 151; Kant s, 43-44 ; 
charges of, 48 ; empirical, 48 ; tran 
scendental, 48, 49; critical, 49, 153 ; 
dreaming, 49; of Berkeley, 49, 153 ; 
visionary, 49; Cartesian or mate 
rial, 103, 104; mystical, 152; of 
Descartes, sceptical, 153. 

Ideality of space and time, 47. - 

Idea of unity system, 119. 

Id as, reason the source of, 92 ; theo 
logical, 117; transcendental, their 
origin In reason, 118, 137. 

Illusion and truth, 152. 

Illusion in transgressing experience, 

Illusory metaphysics, 139. 

Imagination, 78. 

Immaterial being, 125. 

Ii cidental and necessary, 106. 

Incomprehensibility, 118; of causal* 
ity, 70. 

Infinite, the world is, 106. 

Infinite number of parts, no. 

!muffic : ency and appearance, 126. 

Intelligence, supreme, 137. 

Intelligible world. 77. 

Intern ,1 constitution of things never 
revealed, 123. 

Internal sense and soul, 104. 

It tuit d, everything as it appears, 38. 

lutuite, how to, a priori, 34. 

Intuition, 33. 35, 37 ; at the founda 
tion of mathematics, 35, 38; a pri 
ori, and three dimensions, 37; space 
the form of the external, 40; ob 
jects given in, 42; of space and 
time, appearance, 48 ; none beyond 
sensibility, 77; universal form of, 

Intuitive, 33. 

Judgment denned, 63 ; empirical, 54 
55 ; of experience, 54. 55, 57, 62, 63; 
of perception, 55, 57; synthetical 
59 ; two sorts, 148. 

Kant s dogmatic slumber, 7. 

Labor of research, 28. 

Law, conformity to, 52 et seq., 103; 
of the circle, 82 ; reason prescribes 
the, 118; reason s production, 118. 

Laws, subjective, 53 ; of nature, their 
sources, 54; universal, 54; of na 
ture, particular and universal, 81; 
of nature, not in space, 83 ; univer 
sal and necessary, criteria of truth, 

Legislation of nature in ourselves, 

Legislative, the a. priori is, 

Leibnitz, 3. 

Limits, not bounds, 123; contain ne 
gations, 125 ; and bounds, 125 ; and 
boundary, 133. 

Locke, 3, 19. 43. 

Logical functions and categories, 94. 

Logical table, 61. 

Longwindedness of the work, 10. 

Materialism, rash assertions destroy, 


Mathematical judgments, 16. 

Mathematicians were philosophers, 

Mathematics, nature of 33; a priori, 
32; and Anschauung, 32; and vis 
ual form, 32; how possible, 32 et 
seq.; intuitions at the foundation 
f 35. 38; applied to nature, 69; 
must be referred to appearances, 
73; and metai>h)sics, 91. 



Maxims, 114. 

Mental space renders physical space 
possible, 42. 

Metaphysicians, oratory of, 29 ; sus 
pended, 29. 

Metaphysics, 135 ; whether possible, 
1-3. 20, 24 ; impossible according to 
Hume, 4; not every one is bound 
to study, ii ; must satisfy the de 
mands, 12; knowledge of, lying be 
yond experience, 13 ; and a priori 
knowledge, 14; sources of, 13 14; 
like foam, 21 ; the materials of, a 
priori, 23 ; and synthetical proposi 
tions, 24 ; and synthetic a priori 
propositions, 26-C7; difficulty of, 28; 
and transcendental philosophy, 30; 
a priori at the bottom of, 31 ; as a 
science, 31, 147; young thinkers 
partial to, 78; and mathematics, 91; 
how possible? 91; grounds of, 138; 
critique contains plan of, 139 ; illu 
sory, 139; of decay, 141; will never 
be given up, 142; and common 
sense, 146; crazy-quilt of, 154; as 
sertions of, world tired of, 155; 
standard of, 156; apodeictic cer 
tainty of, 157; and criticism, 162. 

Nature, defined, 50, 52, 54; science of, 
precedes physics, 51, 65; sources of 
its laws, 54 ; system of, 64 ; its uni 
versal laws cognised a priori, 64; 
mathematics applied to, 69 ; how 
possible, 79; the totality of rules, 
79; legislation of, in ourselves, 80; 
a priori laws basis of the possibil 
ity of, 81; laws of, particular and 
universal 81; its laws not in space, 
83 ; and freedom, 106. 

Necessary, 62; and apodeictic, 35; 
universality and objective validity, 
56; and incidental, 106, 

Necessary Being, 116. 

Necessity, 67 ; of habit, 4 ; (according 
to Hume) a long habit, 28 ; and a 
priori, 28 ; actions as appearances 
subject to, 113; and determinabil- 
ity, 114; natural, and freedom, 115; 
unconditional, 136. 

Noumena, (things in themselves). 72 
76, 97; and creations of tlie under 
standing, 75 ; as the void, 125. 

Objective, 55 et seq. 

Objective validity and necessary uni 
versality, 56. 

Objects, coincide with geometry, 41; 
are mere appearances, 42; given in 
intuition, 42; of possible experi 
ence, 53; and things in themselves 
in ; unknown, 56. 

Obscurity, 12. 

Ontology, 90. 

Oratory of metaphysicians, 29. 

Oswald, 5. 

Ought and reason, 113. 

Particularia, 60. 

Perception, judgments of, 55, 57. 

Permanence of substances, loi-ioa 

Phantasm, is the a priori a? 47. 

Phenomena, subjective basis of, 42; 
in space, 102. 

Philosophers, mathematicians were 

Philosophy, history of, i. 

Physical space, mental space renders 
it possible. 42. 

Physics, preceded by Science of Na 
ture, 51. 

Physiological table, 61. 

Plan of the work, analytical, u. 

Platner, 118. 

Plurativa judicia^ 60. 

Popular, I might have made my ex 
position, 10. 

Popularity and Prolegomena, 8-9. 

Possibility, 66. 

Practical freedom rescued, 114. 

Predicables, 87. 

Predicates, 99; belonging to appear 
ance, 43. 

Priestley, 5. 

Primary qualities of bodies, 43-44. 

Prolegomena, for teachers, i ; and 
popularity, 8-9; analytical, 25; prep 
aratory, 25 ; as an outline, 159. 

Properties of a body belong to ap 
pearance, 44. 



Property, similarity of sensation to, 

Pseudo-science, 140. 

Pure concepts, of the understanding, 
60, 63, 64 ; table of the, 61 ; a priori 
origin of, 73 ; of reason, 93. 

Pure intuition, 33; a form of sensi 
bility, 36. 

Pure reason, 94, 97. 

Quantity, 65, 68 ; and things in them 
selves, 67 ; of the world, 109. 
Questions, four, 31. 

Real and experience, the, 102. 

Reason, the source of ideas, 92 ; and 
understanding, 92; pure concepts 
of, 93, 94, 95. 97; divided with it 
self, 107; four ideas of, 107; and 
freedom, 113; and ought, 113; con 
flict of, 116; concepts having their 
origin in, 118; prescribes the law, 
118; at variance with itself, 119; 
bounds of pure, 120, 124, 128; finds 
no satisfaction in itself, 124; teaches 
nothing concerning the thing in it 
self 134 ; freed by the theological 
idea, 136. 

Red and vermillion, 44. 

Reid, 5. 

Rules, 64 ; a priori, 64. 

Scepticism, 21, 121; and dogmatism, 

Science of nature, 65. 

Scholia, 138, 139 et seq. 

Self, the thinking, ino. 

Sensation, similarity of, to property, 

Senses, business of the, 62. 

Sensibility, form of, and a priori, 35; 
time and space conditions of our, 
37; no intuition beyond, 77. 

Sensible world no sham. 44. 

Sensuous perception and appear 
ances, 45. 

Similarity of sensation to property, 

Simple and composite, 106. 

Skepticism and dogmatism, 132. 

Solution, facility of, 28. 

Soul, 96, 100; as a substance, 101, 102 
105 ; and internal sense. 104 ; the 
nature of, 121, 136; vacuity in the, 

Sources of a priori concepts, 139. 

Space, 122; and Time, 35; and geom 
etry, 36 ; and time conditions of 
our sensibility, 37; three dimen 
sions, 37; and time, mere form>, 
38; and time presupposed, 38 ; the 
form of appearances, 40; thj form 
of the external intuition, 40; would 
be mere fiction previous to our ac 
quaintance, 41 ; mental renders 
physical possible, 42; aud time and 
things in themselves, 47; and time, 
ideality of, 47; aud time, intuitions 
of, appearance, 48; not a store of 
laws, 84 ; phenomena in, xoz ; and 
time belong to appearances, 152. 

Spark of light, Hume s 7. 

Standard given by criticism, 163. 

Subjective basis of phenomena, 42. 

Subjective laws, 53. 

Subsistence, 70. 

Substance, 66, 98, TOO; of things, 99; 
permanence of, 101-102; soul as a, 
101, 102, 105. 

Succession, 66, 72 ; and causality, in. 

Sufficient reason, never been proved, 

Sun, shining on stone, 59, 63 ; the 
cause of heat, 72. 

Superadded, cause is, 59. 

Supreme Being, 96, 125, 126, 127, 129, 
130, 131. 

Supreme Cause, 131, 132. 

Supreme intelligence, 137. 

Supreme Reason, 132. 

Symmetric helices, 40. 

Synthetical, and analytical, 14-15, 18, 
22, 23, 25, 26, 27; t,nd a priori, 15 
26, 29. 33; Judgments and the law 
of Contradiction 15, 59; of 7 + 5 
= 12, 17 ; propositions and meta 
physics, 24. 

System, of nature, 64; and a priori 
85 ; idea of unity, 119. 

Teachers, Prolegomena for, i. 
Test, 157, 161. 



Theological idea, 117; reason freed 
by the, 136. 

Theology (natural) looks beyond the 
boundary, 134. 

Thing in itself, as body, 103; reason 
teaches nothing concerning, 134. 

Things in themselves, 53, 70, 120, 121, 
122; and space and time, 47; cog 
nition of impossible, 50; under 
standing must conform to, 50; and 
experience, 51; and quantity, 67; 
(noumena), 72, 76; serve to deci 
pher appearances, 73 ; and appear 
ances, 75; and objects, in; the 
basis of experience, 124. 

Things, unknown in themselves, 43; 
substance of, 99 ; never revealed, 
internal constitution of, 123. 

Thinking de6ned, 62, 

Thinking self, the, 100. 

Time and Space, 35; conditions of 
our sensibility, 37; mere forms, 38; 
presupposed, 38 ; belong to appear 
ances, 152. 

Transcendent, 92, 104; transcenden 
tal, a priori aud, 150, 151. 

Transcendental, philosophy and met 
aphysics, 30; problem, 32 et seq.; 
idealism, 48, 49; philosophy, sys 
tem of, 87; ideas, their origin in 
reason, 118; a priori and tran 
scendent, 150, 151. 

Truth, and dreaming, 45 ; criterion 
of, 103, 149 ; in experience, 151 ; and 
illusion, 152. 

Understanding, must conform to 
things in themselves, 50; functions 
of the, 60; pure concepts of the, 
60. 63; table of the pure concepts 
of the, 6r ; business of the, 62 ; crea 
tions of. and noumena, 75; vaga 
ries of the, 78 ; constitution of our 
79; prescribes laws to nature, 82; 
laws inhere in the, 83; makes ex 
perience possible, 84; and cate 
gories, 92; and reason, 92; cogni 
tions of the, 93; beings of, 112; 
world of, 125 ; systematic unity be 
longs to, 138. 

Unity a mode of cognition, 119. 

Universality, necessary, 55. 

Universal laws, 54 ; laws of nature, 
cognised a priori, 64. 

Universal validity, 69. 

Universally valid, 62. 

Vacuity in the soul, 160. 
Vagaries of the understanding, 78. 
Virgil, 12. 

Visionary idealism, 49. 
Visual form and mathematics, 32. 
Visualisation (Ansrkauung) 18. 21. 
Void, the, that of which we can know 
nothing, 125. 

ung, 66. 
Wisdom incarnate, 2. 
Wolf, 19. 

World, 128; questions of its duration 
and quantity, 122. 


(Pages 167-240.) 

Acvaghosha, 228. 

After-imate, 224. 

Agnosticism, 237. 

Amitabha, 228. 

Anschauung, 184, 187. 

Antinomies, 221, 237; Kant s, 195 et 

seq.; not true antinomies, 197. 
A poster iori and a priori, 181, 182. 
Appearance, two meanings of. 232; 

time and space appertain to, 231, 

A priori, 198; not innate, 181; and a. 

posteriori, 181, 182; purely formal, 

207; has objective value, 214. 
Apriority, general applicability, 226. 
Aristotle, 169, 178. 
Arfipa, 228. 
Asceticism, 211. 

Berkeley, 177; his idealism, 175; his 
philosophy, 199; and Kant, 210. 

Cartesian syllogism, the, 169. 
Categories and modes of existence, 


Causation, 200 et spq. 
Cat-se and reason, 201 et seq. 
Christ 212. 
Clifford, 216; on the thing in itself, 


Clusters, things are, 217. 
Color-blind, 228. 
Confucius, 212. 
Constructions and mathematical 

theorems. 215. 
Construction, world of senses is a, 

Cosmos, 221 et seq. 
Critique of Pure Reason^ 175. 

Datein and Sefn, 227. 
Delphic maxim, 168. 
Descartes, 169. 
Dictates of our mind, 207. 
Divisibility of line, infinite, 216, 
Dogmatism, 172. 

Edmunds, Albert J., 188, 189, iga. 
Ego, metaphysical, 170. 
Empirical, 180. 
Extension, 225. 

Feder, 175. 

Flux of things. 218. 

Formal, and the sensory, the, ao8 
constructed, the purely, 215. 

Formal cognition the key to mys 
teries, 227. 

Formal knowledge gives system, 
purely, 226. 

Formal sciences, the organ of cogni 
tion, 212. 

Formal theorems, general, 207. 

Form both subjective and objective, 
212 et seq. 

Garve, 175. 

Generalisations, origin of, 219. 

God, 178, 221 et seq., 228; the world- 
order, 239. 

God problem, 237 et seq. 

Golden Rule, 212. 

GSttingtHtche GeUkrten Anztigen, 



Heine, Heinrich, 173. 
Hom;iloidal, 233. 

Hume, 171 ; his problem, 198, 199, 200 
et seq. 

Ideal and subjective, 206, 214. 
Idealism and realism, 222-223. 
Ideality, of space and time, 187; not 

subjectivity, 204 et seq. 
Image, 184 ; after-, 224. 
Infinite divisibility of line, 216. 
Innate ideas. 182, 200, 
Innate not a priori, 181. 
Intuition, 184. 
Inventor a finder, the, 220. 

Jacobi, 223. 

Kant, his philosophical reform, 171; 
his personal traits. 173 ; his indig 
nation, 177 ; his terms, 178; on meta 
physics, 178-179, 195; on reality, 187; 
and Swedenborg, 188 et seq ; his 
antinomies, 195 et seq.; his prob 
lem, 198; puzzled by the a priori, 
203 et seq.; and Berkeley, 210 ; his 
conception of morality, 211 ; on 
space and time, 231 ; his definition 
of things in theinselves, 235. 

Kantism, moral aspect of, 210 et seq. 

Lao-Tze, 212, 228. 
Laws, 218. 

Leibnitz, 189, 190, 195. 
Lichtenberg, 170. 
Locke, 171, 200. 
Logos, 228. 

Mach. Ernst, 233. 

Mathematical theorems and con 
structions, 215. 

Measure of motion (Time), 216. 

Mental construction and straight 
line, 234. 

Metaphysics, 178; the old, 172; Kant 
on 178-179, 195 ; sources of, 179. 

Mind dictates, our, 207. 

Mind, like the spider s thread. 206. 

Modes of existence and categories, 

Morality, Kant s conception of, 211. 
Mundus intelligibilis, 179, 228. 

Naturalists of Greece, 167. 

Nature, uniformities of, 205. 

Neumann, 196. 

Nirvana, 228. 

Nomenclature is arbitrary, 222. 

Norms of superreal, 227 et seq. 

Noumena, 228 et seq.; represents 

things, 229. 
Noumenon, and phenomenon, 180- 

181 ; space-conception a, 234. 

Objectified, every sentient subject, 
230; subject, the, 225, 226, 231. 

Objective and subjective, 216, 217. 

Objectivity of space and time, 230 et 

Objects, what are they ? 224. 

Organ of cognition, formal sciences 
the, 212. 

Paulsen, 173, 176, 177. 

Phenomenon and noumenon, 180-181 

Philosophy, Jove of wisdom, 168; 

practical, 167. 

Photographer s camera, 184. 
Physiological space, 233. 
Plato, 236. 

Prolegomena, 177, 202 et seq. 
Pure, 182. 

Real, 224. 

Realism and idealism, 222-223. 

Real time and space, 229. 

Reason, and cause, 201 et seq.; and 

understanding, 180. 
Red and vermillion, 209 et seq. 
Religion, the sensory in, 211. 

Scholasticism, 168-169. 
Schopenhauer, 197, 223, 236 ; his Will, 


Sein and Daiein, 227. 
Self-perception, 224. 
Sensations, subjective, 228. 
Senses, world of, a construction, 234. 
Sensory, the formal and the, 208; in 

religion, the, 211. 
Sewall, Frank, 189. 



Socrates, 168. 

Sophists, the, 168. 

Soul, 221 et seq.; Swedenborg on the, 

Space and time, not objects, 187; 
ideality of, 187; objectivity of, 225, 
226, 230 et seq ; real, 229; forms of 
any existence, 131; Kant on, 231; 
appertain to appearances, 231, 232. 

Space-conception, and space, 233; a 
noumenon, 234. 

Space, physiological, 233 ; and space- 
conception, 233. 

Spider s thread, mind like the, 206. 

Spinoza, 179. 

Straight line and mental construc 
tion, 234. 

Subject, 229; representation of the, 
224; in itself empty, 225; the ob 
jectified, 226; objectified, every 
sentient, 230, 231. 

Subjective, and ideal, 206,214; and 
objective, 216, 217. 

Subjectivity, not ideality, 204 et seq.; 
science eliminates, 235. 

Succession, 217, 225. 

Suchness, 208 et seq. 

Superreal. norms of, 227 et seq. 

Swedenhorg, Emanuel, 170, 228; and 
Kant, 188 et seq.; on the soul, 193. 

Terms, Kant s, 178. 

Theology, 178. 

Thing in itself, Clifford on the, 237. 

Things in themselves, 234 et seq.; 

Kant s definition of, 235 ; a. vagary 

Things, represented by noumena 

229 : are clusters, 217 ; flux of, 218; 
and unities, 221. 

Thisness, 208 et seq. 
Tilly, Frank, 175. 

Time and space, ideality of, 187; not 
objects, 187; objectivity of 225,226, 

230 et seq.; real, 229; appertain to 
appearances, 231, 232; forms of any 
existence, 231 ; Kant on, 231. 

Time (measure of motion), 216. 
Transcendental, 182; and transcend 

ent, 183. 
Transcendent and transcendental, 


Tufts, James H., 173. 
Twaddle, dogmatical, 172. 
Twice two, not one, 218. 

Understanding and reason, 180. 
Uniformities, 218; of nature, 205. 
Unities and things, 221. 

Vaihinger, i8g. 

Vermillion and red, 209 et seq. 

Watts, James, 220. 
Weber, Prof. A., 175. 
Windelband, 173. 
Wolf, 170. 

Zeno, 216. 


Prolegomena to any future 3